The ASI has welcomed the Australian Coalition’s proposed anti-dumping reforms announced on 7 November to involve local industry more closely in investigations and tighten enforcement should it win the next Federal election.

The Coalition plan sets out seven initiatives that would transfer anti-dumping responsibilities from Customs to the Department of Industry, rebalance the onus of proof more on overseas companies to demonstrate they are not dumping goods, commit more resources to anti-dumping investigations and strengthen enforcement provisions.

A key commitment involves providing an additional $2.5 million a year to the Department of Industry to “improve the number, quality and speed of anti-dumping investigations”.

“A robust anti-dumping system is crucial in providing the confidence needed to underpin ongoing investment in domestic manufacturing, especially in periods of economic uncertainty such as we are currently facing,” said ASI Chief Executive, Don McDonald.

“It is unfair to fully burden local manufacturers to prove incidents of dumping as has been the case up to recent times so we welcome the policy underpinning the Coalition’s plan to transfer a greater onus of proof of anti-dumping to the importer.

“We particularly support shifting anti-dumping responsibilities to the Department of Industry which would help facilitate relevant industry associations, unions and downstream industry contributing to investigations and provide SMEs with greater access to the system.

“Anti-dumping is a right that countries have under WTO rules and policing this issue helps support fairer trade by making sure that countries operating in an increasingly free international market play by the rules.

“It also helps ensure that markets in economic downturn are not unfairly vulnerable to short-term predatory tactics that threaten the viability of industry committed to serving the local economy for the long haul,” he said.