Industry, unions warn of new wave of ‘dumped’ foreign imports
Business groups and unions are warning of a new wave of cheap foreign imports into Australia amid concerns that the country’s anti-dumping authority does not have enough resources to protect domestic industries.
CFMEU’s manufacturing division wants federal government to step up its defense of Australian jobs against cheap imports as coronavirus-induced economic downturn fuels global oversupply of steel, paper, alloys, glass, etc. processed food products and solar panels, among other products.
The union is also concerned that China is worsening its trade war against Australia by increasing already high amounts of dumping in an attempt to decimate the domestic industry and increase the country’s dependence on Chinese products.
Relations between Australia and China have deteriorated over the past year, with Beijing imposing export restrictions or tariffs on a range of Australian products including wine, barley, beef , coal, lobster and forest products.
An anti-dumping measure is an additional duty on imports that are sold at a price below the cost of manufacturing the item in the country of origin. Australian industry can ask the Anti-Dumping Commission to impose tariffs on specific products if it is found to have harmed the domestic industry.
Australia currently applies anti-dumping duties on imported steel, paper, glass, food, electrical equipment, chemicals and aluminum against various countries, with the main offenders being China, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines.
CFMEU manufacturing division national secretary Michael O’Connor said the Commonwealth funding allocation to the commission fell to $ 11.6 million last year, down 5% from to the previous year.
He said there was generally a cyclical recovery in anti-dumping actions during softer economic times such as the Asian financial crisis, the dot-com bubble burst in 2001-02 and the global financial crisis.