The difficulties that dumped imports of vehicle tyres are causing for local manufacture and job creation will be familiar to those who have followed the battle against predatory imports of other South Africa industries, including poultry producers.
The application by the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) for anti-dumping duties against Chinese imports makes the same points that the poultry industry has raised about poultry imports from Brazil and the European Union.
– Local manufacturers are not against imports, and competition is welcome.
– The battle is against unfair and predatory imports that threaten local businesses and local jobs.
– Large consignments of unfairly priced imports have been landed here for several years.
– Imports have taken 30% of the local market.
– Anti-dumping duties will result in a level playing field and fair competition.
– Illicit trade, aimed at avoiding import duties is also taking place, and the SA Revenue Service (SARS) is investigating 64 cases.
“The SATMC supports healthy trade and competition at fair prices. However, tyres designed and manufactured in China are imported unfairly into South Africa at unsustainable, rock-bottom rates, which limits the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers,” it said in an application to South Africa’s trade regulator, the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), as reported by Engineering News.
“SATMC members employ more than 6 000 people directly in South Africa and create indirect employment opportunities for more than 19 000 people,” said SATMC managing executive Nduduzo Chala.
“It is not our intention to increase tyre prices or to hit the wallets of customers. This is about fighting unfair trade. SATMC members are concerned about the knock-on effects of these destructive practices for job creation and economic growth within South Africa. We want to keep the South African manufacturing sector alive.”
This is not a localisation issue, as some critics maintain. It is about unfair and illegal trade that threatens a viable, sustainable and competitive industry and thousands of South African jobs.
As the application is not expected to be finalised until next year, FairPlay would like to see the immediate imposition of provisional anti-dumping duties to counter dumped tyre imports until ITAC makes its final determination.