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Unlevel Playing Field Under Asean-China FTA, Say Aluminium Makers

Bernama, Malaysia

22 April 2010

Unlevel Playing Field Under Asean-China FTA, Say Aluminium Makers

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 (Bernama) — An unlevel playing field exists under the Asean-China free trade agreement (FTA), according to the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Aluminium Manufacturers Group (FMM AMGM).

"Cost of raw materials traded at the Shanghai Futures Exchange is lower compared to the London Metal Exchange," the group said in a memorandum to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) dialogue on Thursday.

The FMM AMGM called on the ministry to get feedback from critically affected industries in Asean such as the aluminium industry.

"A joint Asean approach to safeguard the aluminium industry from excessively unfair trade include the possible implementation of safeguard duties or deferment of the zero per cent duty until unfair trade practices are restored," it said.

The group noted that many countries, including India and those in the European Union (EU), had already implemented safeguard duties against importation of Chinese aluminium products.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the government was monitoring the situation and would not backtrack on its commitment under the Asean-China FTA.

"There are safeguard measures in problems relating to trade practices," he said at a press conference after the MITI dialogue with representatives from the metal industry associations.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia Mould and Die Association in its memorandum to MITI today highlighted the lack of workers due to inadequate training programmes and continuous exodus of trained workers due to opportunities abroad.

"The future of the mould and die industry remains brights, considering the high annual market demand," the association said.