How about a South African “trade defence” policy?

In its tariff structure review, we hope ITAC studies the “trade defence” policies implemented by the European Union.

The EU is ruthless in blocking in blocking imports it doesn’t want, and is very proud of its achievements in protecting EU farmers from what it regards as unfair competition, particularly dumped and subsidised products. It boasts of the strength of its measures and the number of jobs it has protected through anti-dumping duties.

It set this out last year in its annual Trade Defence report. Introducing the report, EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “While imports offer more choice at a competitive price for our consumers and businesses, we need to make sure they come to Europe on fair terms, not dumped or subsidised, and that they do not make us overdependent.”

That’s a good example for South Africa to follow. What is not a good example is that the EU is itself guilty of dumping chicken portions in South Africa. The irony of this has been pointed out in an insightful article by FairPlay’s Paul Dillon.

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