Aluworks Petitions Govt Over Unfair Trade

Officials of Aluworks at the GITC

ALUWORKS
COMPANY Limited has petitioned the government of Ghana through the Ghana
International Trade Commission (GITC) over what it termed as unfair trade practices
by its Chinese competitors.

The
company cited dumping, price undercutting, trade in cheap products, among
others, in its petition.

The commission
is probing the petition by Aluworks on allegations of imports of subsidized
aluminium coils and circles onto the

Ghanaian
markets, importation of aluminium coils and circles at prices that result in
dumping and abuse of the 5% concessionary duty rate, among others.

The Managing
Director of Aluworks, Kwesi Okoh, at the hearing of the petition on Thursday,
January 9, 2020 in Accra, appealed to government to impose the World Trade
Organization (WTO) laws to enable the company to compete favourably on the
market.

Mr.
Okoh said the non-implementation of the laws has made it possible for Chinese
companies operating in Ghana to charge lower prices for goods they trade in.

He mentioned
unfair trade practices by foreign companies, especially the Chinese, which
enjoy subsidies and export rebates in their home countries and flood the
Ghanaian market with cheap products.

He said
it was time Ghana applied WTO rules and imposed equivalent additional duties to
match the level of any export rebate granted these foreign companies.

According
to him, his company has been making losses since 2009 mainly due to the unbridled
import of sub-standard and cheap aluminium sheets and others.

“We
have to apply the World Trade Organisation rules, and we have to impose
equivalent additional duties to match the level of any export rebate granted. We
have waited for this for 10 years; we want it…by the end of 2019 and no later.
Aluworks is on the verge of extinction,” he lamented.

He
explained that the work of the erstwhile Tariff Advisory Board practically
proved the allegation of dumping, but it has to be re-confirmed.

However,
getting statistics from China has been difficult.

Mr.
Okoh said the GITC should use diplomatic contacts to derive required figures,
re-prices in China, and official levels of all export rebates on aluminium.

There
is also duty benchmarking, with the company arguing that the recently revised
import duty benchmarking has deepened the export rebate effect.

The commission is expected to conduct impartial and fair investigations into the merits of the petitions and make recommendations in addressing the issues raised within a period of at least nine months.

BY Melvin Tarlue