AMSA vs the Steel Downstream
ANOTHER MYSTERIOUS ABOUT-TURN?
by Gerhard Papenfus
In a previous newsletter we reported that, as a result of representations made by NEASA, and certainly other Industry role players, the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) determined that the duties should not be implemented.
In the same newsletter, we made mention of the about-turn when safeguard-duties were implemented on hot-rolled coil, where the wording “not in public interest” mysteriously changed to “in public interest”.
Is history about to repeat itself?
In this instance ITAC, only a few days after determining that duties of 120% on certain long products should not be implemented, suddenly and very surprisingly requests interviews with Industry role players on the question as to whether these duties are in the public’s interest or not.
Apart from the fact that this request is irrational, it is against normal protocol since they have already announced that the duties are not recommended. In a further twist and adding to this confusion, a very short timeline has been provided in which interested parties must indicate whether they will participate in the ITAC initiated discussions, forward their presentation to ITAC and present it on 2 December 2020.
One can only speculate as to the reasons/events that took place behind the scenes that caused this about-turn by ITAC. Why call for a discussion after the decision has already been made? Is this an indication of AMSA’s grip on the DTIC and in particular, ITAC, a body that is supposed to function independently?
How can it even be remotely contemplated to declare the propping up of a foreign, inefficient monopoly, which is operating to the detriment of South African steel downstream as being in the public interest?
Sadly, this has happened before and the industry must resist this latest development appropriately.
We are all in this together.
Privileged and challenged to be South African.