Positive progress made on how to handle anti-dumping system

06 December, 2006

"The Government’s release of the outcome of its administrative review of Australia’s Anti-Dumping System shows that real progress is being made to address some of the issues concerning Australia’s manufacturing industry", Heather Ridout, Chief Executive, Australian Industry Group has said.

“One key issue which the Australian Industry Group has emphasised needed reform is the lack of clear guidelines relating to key aspects of the system.  The Government has fully accepted this principle as well as the need to ensure that Customs has the appropriate expertise to deal with often less than transparent and complex issues which must be assessed during anti-dumping investigations.

“Industry is looking forward to working constructively with the Government to finalise these important guidelines which will bring much needed clarity into the system.

“We also welcome the fact that the Government has addressed Ai Group’s concerns relating to the difficultly of SME’s to access and understand the system – through not only implementing simpler and more transparent processes to be adopted in anti-dumping cases, but also through the provision of a dedicated officer,” Ridout said.

“Manufacturers have been enormously frustrated by the difficultly and cost in initiating an anti-dumping case, in particular the problems relating to the procedures used by Customs in evaluating dumping applications.  The Government’s decision to ensure Customs will introduce a more structured process in considering applications and the development of clear guidelines to assess an application will benefit all parties and should help to reduce costs and the prolonged uncertainty this causes in the marketplace.

“The Government has also agreed that preliminary findings should be made as soon as possible after 60 days and this is also an important improvement.

“Ai Group has made specific recommendations to the Government on the treatment of material injury in relation to dumping and while this matter has not been determined in this Review we look forward to the Government releasing details about this in the very near future.

“This Joint Study has been guided jointly by the Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane and the Customs Minister, Chris Ellison.  They are to be congratulated on the way they have included industry in consultations throughout the entire review process and for picking up some of the key concerns expressed by Australia’s manufacturing industry.

“Unfortunately one major uncertainty still hangs over all this good work and that is the announcement by the Government in August to have a public review of the entire anti-dumping system.  Ai Group has written to the Prime Minister and other relevant Ministers asking that this second review not proceed given the positive work demonstrated in the current review and the fact that Australia’s anti-dumping system is already completely WTO compliant”, Ridout said.