Safeguard duties on steel could lead to runaway prices: MBAM
KUALA LUMPUR: The Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) has strongly opposed the safeguard measures on steel as it feels the move could lead to uncontrollable prices of steel bars due to the absence of the free flow of imports.
In a statement, MBAM said the government recently introduced safeguard duties of 13.9% on steel coils and 13.4% on steel rebars following a petition by local steel industry players.
It said the local players alleged that the increase in imports of the steel products into Malaysia caused serious injury to the domestic industry producing similar items.
“This safeguard rate will be imposed on top of the existing 5% import duty. This action has an enormous impact on consumers of steel in Malaysia. Steel is used as an input in different industries and any further rise in steel prices will increase the cost of production,” the association said.
MBAM said the government should look at a sustainable long-term plan on this issue, as the local producers were not supposed to be protected for their inability to stay competitive.
“Besides, this measure is a U-turn from the government’s previous decision in 2008 to liberalise the steel industry by abolishing price control/ ceiling prices,” it added. – Bernama