PETALING JAYA: The government will impose anti-dumping duty of 25.2% on steel wire rods (SWR) imported from Taiwan, China, South Korea and Indonesia from tomorrow, following investigations by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
The move was branded as a “mafia” strategy by Malaysian companies which rely on cheap imported SWR.
However, MITI said that SWR from six manufacturers have been exempted from the tax or will have reduced rates. These are China Steel Corp and Feng Hsin Iron and Steel Co Ltd of Taiwan, Jiangsu Shagang International Trade Co Ltd and Jiangsu Yonggang Group Co Ltd of China, Posco of Korea and PT Ispat Indo of Indonesia.
The decision has sparked a strong reaction from Malaysian companies which rely on cheap imported SWR as they say local steel cannot meet their demand. These companies will be appealing the decision.
Steel Wire Association of Malaysia (SWAM) vice-president Ernest Koay said the industry relies heavily on imported SWR and has been taken aback by the decision.
“I don’t know why the government has come out with this decision. This will badly impact our member companies as 30% of our imports for SWR is from those countries,” he said. SWAM, which was established in 1974, has 70 members.
Koay said the decision has left SWAM members in a quandary because they will still have to import steel wire because locally made steel does not meet their specification.
“We are not satisfied. We want to appeal. We are going to have a discussion with the minister [Mustapa Mohamed] on this matter,” he said.
Koay said the government should rethink the anti-dumping duty because it will put a burden on SWAM members who are contributing billions of ringgit to the economy.
Calling the anti-dumping move a “mafia” strategy, Koay urged the ministry to reconsider the implementation of the duty because it will affect industries that rely on SWR.
In its statement yesterday, the ministry said the new duties were fixed following the conclusion of investigations it launched in June last year on behalf of petitioner Amsteel Mills Sdn Bhd.
In its petition for the investigations, Amsteel said imports of SWR from China, Korea, Taipei, Turkey and Indonesia were priced much lower than domestic steel and were causing material injury to local players.
However, the ministry did not impose any anti-dumping duties on imports of SWR from Turkey, due to the dumping margin which is below 2%. The scope of product under investigation covers SWR with carbon content below 0.6%, which is classifiable within Malaysian Harmonised System Code.
February 19, 2013
By Kamalavacini Ramanathan
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