Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


New public interest test for anti-dumping regime?

New public interest test for anti-dumping regime?

12 June 2014

The Government is considering inserting a new public interest test into New Zealand’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties regime.

Submissions are due by 30 June 2014.

The proposal is among a number of reform options outlined in a discussion paper released by Commerce Minister Craig Foss last week. It follows the suspension last month of anti-dumping duties on imported construction products.

The current regime
The present law is intended to protect local manufacturing industries. It effectively requires the Minister of Commerce to impose anti-dumping duties on imported goods where:
• an investigation finds the imported goods to be dumped or subsidised, and
• the dumping of those goods is causing or threatening to cause material injury to a domestic industry.
But the Government is increasingly concerned that these protections may be doing more economic harm than good by:
• reducing competition in local industries
• causing higher prices to domestic consumers, and
• adversely impacting New Zealand’s terms of trade.

Reform options
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is suggesting that officials should have flexibility not to impose anti-dumping duties in some cases under a “bounded public interest test”. This approach is in line with EU and Canadian law. Australia, however, recently decided not to follow this route. It instead retains a ministerial discretion (which is hardly ever used) not to impose duties on public interest grounds.

The discussion paper offers two alternative approaches:
• the provision of (subjective) public interest criteria, or
• the provision of (objective) numerical thresholds.
In both cases the tests would be an additional final step in the existing decision making process.

Public interest criteria
This option would give the decision maker (MBIE or the Minister) a broad discretion to impose duties after taking account of factors such as:
• the competitive effects on local markets (including any lessening of competition)
• the impact on employment in the domestic industry and associated upstream industries
• any potential harm on downstream industries, including their ability to access necessary inputs, and
• whether duties would restrict consumer choice or availability of goods at competitive prices.

Numerical thresholds
In contrast to the public interest test, this option would include fixed thresholds and so limit the amount of discretion the Minister can exercise.

Suggested criteria include:
• the market share of the domestic industry (as an indicator of the number of market participants that would benefit), and
• the domestic cost of production vs. the price of the imported goods when duties are imposed (as an indicator of the effectiveness of the duties in reducing the harm suffered by the domestic industry).

Neither list is fixed
MBIE has requested submissions on both criteria lists and whether any other factors should be added. MBIE, for example, suggests that the long term viability of the domestic industry absent the duties should be included in the public interest criteria.

MBIE also invites feedback on the weight to be given to domestic producers’ interests relative to other participants in the New Zealand economy, such as consumers. This wider question overarches the entire proposal.

Chapman Tripp comments
While anti-dumping duties may be imperfect, any reform of the anti-dumping regime needs to be careful to ensure a fair competitive platform for New Zealand manufacturers. Relaxing the anti-dumping test will make it harder for New Zealand manufacturers to withstand price undercutting from low-cost importers.

Even if we choose reform, the two MBIE proposals are quite different, and their policy goals and potential consequences will need to be carefully thought through. For example, the public interest test is far more fluid than the existing regime. It potentially gives elected Ministers a much greater role in deciding which industries to protect. The thresholds, while appearing more “certain”, are likely to be hard to draft and may deprive the Government of future flexibility.

We encourage local industries and importers to participate in the consultation.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news