Anti-Dumping Law Changes a Possibility as Government Reviews Australia’s Anti-Dumping and Countervailing System
Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) March 02, 2011
The Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor today moved to make changes to laws governing the process for reviewing anti-dumping measures.
Dumping occurs when an overseas company exports its goods to another country at a price that is below the price it charges in its home market or below the cost of production.
Anti-dumping measures are imposed to prevent an importer from unfairly damaging Australian manufacturing, and commonly include the payment of extra import duties or undertakings. The measures can be reviewed upon request.
“Australia’s anti-dumping and countervailing system is an important facet of our trade environment and helps to protect local industry and jobs,” Mr O’Connor said.
“It’s important that laws in this area are clear – for the good of Australian industry and our international trade relationships,” he said.
The Customs Amendment (Trade Measures) Bill was introduced to Parliament today. If passed, the Bill will clarify how parties apply for a review of anti-dumping measures and stipulate the test that the Minister applies in deciding whether anti-dumping measures should be removed.
The Bill responds to last year’s decision by the Full Federal Court in Minister of State for Home Affairs v Siam Polyethylene, in which the court considered the test that the Minister must apply in deciding whether anti-dumping measures should be revoked.
The court found that anti-dumping measures should be removed unless an Australian manufacturer would be injured if the measures were not in place.
“Of course, once effective anti-dumping measures are in place Australian manufacturers should not be suffering injury,” Mr O’Connor said.
“We believe the court’s interpretation of the test would lead to anti-dumping measures being revoked where Australian industry remains at risk of being damaged by dumping,” he said.
“That’s not consistent with world practice or in the interest of the Australian economy and that’s why we’re taking action to rectify the situation,” he said.
“If a party wants anti-dumping measures to be revoked they will have to provide evidence that the measures are no longer warranted.”
In addition, the legislation now outlines a specific procedure for applying for a revocation, separate to the existing review process.
The Bill clarifies that if a party wants the Minister to revoke anti-dumping measures, it must initiate the request or apply for it within 40 days of a review commencing.
“This move will make the review process more open and transparent, giving Australian manufacturers adequate time to respond to an application for revocation,” Mr O’Connor said.
The amendments are consistent with Australia’s World Trade Organisation obligations and the current practices of Customs and Border Protection.
The Customs Amendment (Trade Measures) Bill is separate to the Government’s consideration of the Productivity Commission’s report on Australia’s anti-dumping and countervailing system.
The Government’s response to the report is being developed as part of the 2011-12 Budget process.
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