Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, has warned against unfair trade practices as the act will affect and undermine work undertaken to encourage local businesses ahead of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Commending the leadership of Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) on churning out the report on the dumping of aluminium coils and circles originating in or imported from China, which saw Aluworks lose revenue and market share to inferior products on the market, Mr. Kyeremanten assured investors ahead of AfCFTA that government will take necessary steps to mitigate the duping of inferior good into the country.
“Any efforts at having unfair trade practices in our economy will undermine the work that we’ve done so far in encouraging and supporting local industries and I believe that the work the Commission is embarking on will protect the local industries from unfair trade practices.
“Secondly, the establishment of the continental free trade area I believe will be the most powerful stimulus for attracting investments, not only into Ghana, but into the whole continent. But particularly for us as Ghana, as a host country, we believe that this offers an opportunity for Ghana to become the new gateway and manufacturing hub for the continent.
“As we all prepare towards the commencement of the AfCFTA, we want to use the report of the Commission to assure investors who will be attracted to locate their facilities in Ghana to take advantage of the continental market, that the work of the Commission will provide the ecosystem to guarantee them against unfair trade practices that will be occasioned by people who engage in these unfortunate undertakings.”
Per the investigation, the Commission decided that a anti-dumping duty of 35.77% be imposed on aluminium coils and circles originating in or imported from China for a period of five years beginning January 2021.
With this, the Deputy Chairman of the Commission, Professor Paul Kuruk speaking on the issue, explained that the tariff will take effect from January 2021 as it also lays a legal framework ahead of AfCFTA.
“Under the World Trade Organization rules, Ghana also has that right to be able to take measures to level the playing field and to guard against unfair practices. So, Aluworks was happy about the results, but then of course, they were realistic enough to understand that this will not offer immediate relief in the short term, but overtime as they are able to compete more effectively, then they will get to the same level that they were before the unfair trade practices were engaged in by the Chinese importers.
“The mandate of the International Trade Commission is a very broad one. We are entitled and we have that right to petition and the petitions will in addition to the dumping problem that we went over in the Aluworks matter. Cases of the application of unfair subsidies; and this is where certain exporters benefit from subsidies granted by their home governments and when they come to Ghana they take advantage of the subsidies and they could among other strategies, they could lower their prices which would eventually drive our domestic producers from the market, so, we also are able to respond to those issues”.
“… it may be the case that the GRA will assess some tariffs and private importers might feel that it’s excessive. So, where there are complaints about tariff assessments we can intervene as well”.