Global overcapacity in steel production and increasingly protectionist trade policies have led to an increase in the dumping of marginally costed steel and fabricated steel onto global export markets. Robust and timely anti-dumping provisions that are world-class are needed to provide effective defence against unfair trade to Australian steel manufacturers and fabricators.
Steel is an important component of our advanced manufacturing capability. A vibrant Australian steel industry ensures a secure, flexible and high-quality supply of finished steel for everything from roads and bridges to skyscrapers, hospitals, schools and homes. It also supports the country’s transition to a more diversified, high-value-adding sustainable economy and plays a key role in achieving sustainability targets in both infrastructure and commercial development.
An independent and self-sufficient steel supply chain is a vital strategic economic asset. The local steel value chain has been operating within a free market environment for some decades and is accustomed to working within the current trade regime of only minor or no tariffs on imported steels. The ASI understands that the Australian value chain must be competitive but believes that if given a level playing field against international supply it can complete.
Globally, however, the steel industry is facing headwinds driven by overcapacity and a rise in protectionism. These factors have resulted in an increase in the dumping of marginally costed steel and fabricated steel onto global export markets, creating stresses across the industry.
The ASI supports Australia’s compliance with WTO anti-dumping guidelines and the application of a robust and dynamic anti-dumping regime. We support free and fair trade and believe in the rules-based system underpinned by WTO protocols that support global trade. Australia needs to maintain a system that is the equivalent of comparable nations. The best way forward for Australia is for industry and government to work cooperatively to apply economic policies and secure optimal international trade outcomes.
There are several measures that the ASI believes should be implemented to improve the operation of Australia’s anti-dumping system. While some require legislative change, others are a matter for policy and for the interpretation of the existing legislation by the Commission and relevant departments.