CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor has called on the Federal Government to protect Australia’s pulp and paper industry against the “dumping” of cheap imported goods.
The CFMEU is concerned that imported “dumped” products are flooding into Australia and threatening local jobs.
“Local manufacturers across the nation are telling the union that illegally dumped products are really hurting them,” Mr O’Connor said.
“The trade rights of Australian industry need to be enforced by the Federal Government in a much tougher way than we are currently seeing.
“For example, importers are currently able to use a loophole in the legislation to hide data and mask the country of origin of goods. This makes it hard for local industry to investigate dumping and for consumers to make sure that they are not buying illegally dumped products.
“If industry and unions are able to gain better access to import data, we will be able to ensure a level playing field and to protect jobs across the country.”
Mr O’Connor said that compliance with anti-dumping rulings and Custom’s laws also needed improvement through increased monitoring, enforcement and penalties.
“Local industry and workers need to have confidence that anti-dumping duties will actually be collected,” he said. “Currently no such confidence exists.”
Under international trade rules, predatory dumping of manufactured goods is illegal.
“Dumping is being prosecuted and penalised by pro-active governments across the world. It is time Australia stepped up to the plate to protect local industry and jobs,” said Mr O’Connor.