The Australian Steel Institute (ASI) welcomes the Labor Party's plans to reform Australia's anti-dumping system.

The Labor Party's reforms would increase funding for the Anti-Dumping Commission, improving its capacity to investigate breaches of trade rules; transfer the responsibility for Safeguards investigations from the Productivity Commission to the Anti-Dumping Commission; triple penalties for parties who circumvent Australia's anti-dumping measures; enable Australian businesses applying for anti-dumping protection to nominate the form of duty as penalty to be applied to the dumped good; and introduce a 30 day time limit for applications for a review.

ASI Chief Executive Tony Dixon said, “Dumping is cheating, and the steel industry has been negatively impacted by the practice over recent years. The Labor Party's reforms would strengthen the Australian anti-dumping system and support local manufacturing.”

“The reforms proposed by the Labor Party would bring Australia's anti-dumping system in line with systems already established in many other industrialised countries around the world—countries that are tightening their own anti-dumping systems to support their local industries, and to stamp out cheating.”

“Maintaining effective measures to counter dumping of goods is a right that all countries have under WTO rules, and Australia's anti-dumping system is compliant with these rules.”

“Australian industry expects vigorous competition on innovation, quality and price from foreign firms, but it should not be expected to compete with dumped or subsidised products. An effective anti-dumping system is very important in providing a stable, rules-based foundation for ongoing investment in steel manufacturing, jobs and exports.”

“Global trade tensions are high throughout the steel industry. With the United States implementing a 25% tariff on imported steel from several countries, this increases the threat of more steel being dumped in Australia.”

“The Australian Government must be able to move quickly with safeguards if our local steel industry starts to suffer because of the tariffs imposed by the United States, and the international reaction to these tariffs. These reforms will help ensure a timely response.”

The ASI believes that the proposed change to allow businesses to nominate the form of duty that should be applied is progressive and innovative; it gives the individuals and organisations most affected the opportunity to provide input on final measures. The ASI also welcomes transferring responsibility of Safeguard measures from the Productivity Commission to the Anti-Dumping Commission, particularly as this is in line with the anti-dumping systems of many other industrialised countries.