Wed, 11 Feb 2009
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The government will intensify steel imports following the dumping of cheap iron ore from outside the country. Metal, Machinery, and Textile Industry director-general, Anshari Bukhari, said the measure is taken to protect the national steel industry. "Local steel products are not competitive," he said yesterday.


According to Anshari, protecting the local industry is a policy that must be made by the government. He cited that hot rolled coils are sold at US$ 700 per ton, while imported steel are sold under US$ 600 per ton. The
price of imported products is considered irregular.

Currently, Anshari said, his department is drafting a
policy with the Trade Department, including the restriction of steel imports.

Anshari explained that steel imports can only be done by registered producers. Meanwhile, the entry point for imported steel will not be limited by the government. "This applies for upstream to downstream products, from hot rolled coils to nails," he said.

The restriction, Anshari said, would be more effective than dumping. "Dumping takes more time," he said.

The government's policy requiring the procurement of government services to use local products will help the national industry. "This policy includes steel products," Anshari said.

According to Anshari, the policy can support the weakening steel industry caused by declining orders. "Some industries have begun cutting their production."

VENNIE MELYANI



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