Competing interests balanced in changes to anti-dumping lawsCommerce and Consumer Affairs
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Paul Goldsmith today announced that a test will be introduced into New Zealand’s anti-dumping regime to better balance consumer interests with those of the manufacturers threatened by dumped imports.
“We want to ensure that we have a competitive market where consumers get the best value for their money. These decisions aim to strike a balance between encouraging competition, while protecting manufacturers from dumping,” Mr Goldsmith says.
Goods are dumped if the export price to New Zealand is less than the price they are sold for in their own home market. A duty or a financial penalty is imposed on those dumped products which harm New Zealand manufacturers or a local industry.
“Before imposing at-the-border duties on ‘dumped’ products a consumer welfare test will now be added to the process,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“The test will weigh the impact on manufacturers against the wider effects on industries and consumers.
“Earlier this year the Government went out for public consultation on the proposed changes to the regime. We also considered the implementation of an automatic termination period (ATP) on anti-dumping duties.
“Over time, it became clear that an ATP provision could have negative effects on some industries. As a part of our consultation process I met with representatives from the Hawkes Bay fruit growers industry, who expressed concern than an ATP provision could pose undue risk to the future of the industry.
“Whenever the Government looks at complex areas of law, it is vital that the consultation process is objective, thorough, and sincere. After taking into account feedback from the growers and further analysis from officials, the Government has decided that there will not be an ATP provision included in these changes.
“The next step is to reflect these changes in the Dumping and Countervailing Duties Amendment Bill. It is my intention to introduce this bill to Parliament later this year,” Mr Goldsmith says.
The Government has decided to adopt an anti-dumping regime that utilises a Bounded Public Interest Test, with no Automatic Termination Period.
Under the Bounded Public Interest Test, anti-dumping duties will not be imposed on imported goods where the potential benefit to consumers materially outweighs the risk to New Zealand manufacturers or local industry.