Source: The Edge
The ministry of international trade and industry (Miti) disagrees with the local cold-rolled coil (CRC) manufacturers’ view that the government is lacking in action to protect the industry hit by a flood of cheap imports.
A Miti measure to help the local CRC industry is working on a Malaysian standard for CRCs to ensure quality and safer imports of the commodity into the country.
Miti clarified that import duty exemptions have not been given to traders, selected importers and parties not involved in manufacturing. CRC players, however, claimed otherwise.
Miti was responding to the article entitled “CRC Players Losing Patience with Government Inaction” published in the latest issue of The Edge Malaysia weekly, quoting several CRC companies complaining about the government’s lack of measures to protect the domestic CRC manufacturers, for example, the government dragging its feet on imposing import duties.
The US and the European Union are among those that have imposed a 25% tariff on steel imports to protect their steel industry from the dumping of cheap steel by China and Vietnam, The Edge Malaysia weekly wrote.
Further, Miti stressed it had engaged with CRC players several times since April last year to address their concerns about surging CRC imports, and that it has taken several actions to address them.
“For instance, the government has suspended the Asean Trade in Goods Agreement preferential for all CRC imports from Vietnam and conducted retroactive checks, based on the cold rollers’ allegation that CRCs imported from Vietnam are not meeting the origin criteria,” it said in a statement yesterday.
Miti said trade remedies are meant to be instruments to defend the domestic industry from unfair trade practices.
“In this regard, the government may initiate an investigation or a review to determine the existence, degree and effect of any alleged dumping upon the submission of a written petition by the domestic industry producing the like product,” it said.
It said all anti-dumping investigations and reviews must be carried out within 270 days and 180 days respectively.
Since 2006, Malaysia has initiated seven anti-dumping investigations on iron and steel products — steel wire rods, tin plates, hot rolled coils, cold rolled coils, pre-painted colour coated steel coils, cold rolled stainless steel and galvanised iron — and six of these measures are still in force.
Miti said consolidated proposals or feedback based on consultation with the iron and steel industry are welcomed through the existing mechanism under the Malaysia Steel Council (MSC) chaired by Miti’s minister.
“During the recent MSC meeting held on Oct 22, 2018, the iron and steel industry was urged to work together to develop a White Paper on the way forward for the industry.
“The industry’s input and collaboration are needed for the government to formulate a holistic iron and steel policy addressing every level of the value chain,” it said.