Wellington, May 24, 2017
A bill that introduces a new public interest test into the anti-dumping regime has passed its final reading.
The public interest test will weigh up the benefits of at-the-border duties on dumped products and subsidised goods, which are aimed at protecting domestic manufacturers, against the wider benefits to the public of cheaper goods in important industries like new home construction.
Goods are considered dumped if the export price to New Zealand is less than the price they are sold for in their home market.
A duty can be imposed on those unfairly priced goods if they are harming competing New Zealand manufacturers.
Countervailing duties can also be imposed when New Zealand manufacturers are being harmed by competing imports that have been subsidised by a foreign government.
By introducing a public interest test, the Government can now balance the benefits to downstream industries and consumers of lower prices, more choice, and greater availability and quality of goods, against the impact on competing domestic industries.
We need to ensure that the public interest is taken into account, helping consumers get best value for money while ensuring our domestic manufacturers have the right protection from unfair trading practices.
The Bill also extends the suspension of anti-dumping duties on residential building materials until June 30, 2019.
The suspension of anti-dumping duties removes a cost on the importation of building materials, which will promote competition in the residential construction sector and ultimately lower the cost of building new homes.
Jacqui Dean is Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister of New Zealand.