The decision by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to uphold the Australian Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) framework in relation to investigations into products being dumped into the Australian market is a win for fair trade and an important step towards a level playing field for domestic producers, Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) CEO Mr Ross Hampton said.

Mr Hampton said the decision demonstrates the integrity and robustness of the ADC’s investigative framework and sends a strong message to overseas manufacturers that Australia is not a soft target for dumped products which threaten the operation of domestic manufacturers and the tens of thousands of local jobs they support.

“Manufacturing in Australia has been under increasing pressure from imported products and it is crucial that we have an effective anti-dumping system to ensure a level playing field,” Mr Hampton said.

“Domestic manufacturers must have confidence in the anti-dumping system to bring cases forward when they are concerned about dumping practices, as well as in the measures put in place to provide an effective and timely trade remedy. The WTO’s decision is a major step forward in this regard.”

Mr Hampton said a robust anti-dumping system was vital for Australia’s forest products industry, with Australia importing around $5.6 billion in wood, paper and tissue products each year and exporting around $3.6 billion, producing a trade deficit in forest products of around $2 billion each year.

“While the WTO’s decision is welcome, we must remain vigilant. We will continue to monitor the performance of the anti-dumping system, given its importance for promoting a level playing field for our domestic manufacturers, and the ADC must continue to monitor imports coming into Australia to ensure that the local market remains fair.” Mr Hampton said.