Steel maker Morikop warned that if the anti-dumping commission did not agree to raise tariffs on Chinese competitors, it could dismiss 300 jobs, more than half of Australia’s workforce.
Michael Parker, President of Morikop’s Australian Chapter, Told the australian The company said it would consider ending local steel production and instead manufacturing products from cheaper Chinese imported steel if the request to raise tariffs was denied.
The US-owned company is the last domestic producer of steel grinding balls, a component used in the gold, copper and lithium mining processing stages.
Parker emphasized that the company does not want to make that decision, but it will not be possible to compete with steel balls imported from China, which are subsidized by cheaper countries without tariffs.
“We can attend the party like everyone else,” he said. “It will be another loss of sovereignty.”
Molycop previously submitted an application to the Anti-Damping Commission in 2016 on the same issue.
The Commission found that Chinese competitors were subsidized and therefore imposed various tariffs on imported ground balls ranging from 1% to 34%.
Molycop is currently hoping to raise the price and extend it for another five years, as the price is due to expire in September.
Parker said the loss of his steel ball manufacturing in Australia would reduce the resilience of Australian-based customers. But he also admitted that most of those customers didn’t care about locally-based supply chains.
“They’re all about cutting costs,” Parker said.
The company’s tariff increases are coming as tensions in diplomatic relations between the two countries begin after Australia led a call for an independent investigation into the origin of the CCP virus.
In retaliation, Beijing imposed punitive economic sanctions on Australian products. This includes an 80% tariff on barley. Australia recently brought the conflict to the World Trade Organization, and Canada and Russia joined with common concerns.
Economic sanctions from Beijing have also hit iron ore. But it did not stop the country from importing minerals. The price of iron ore in Australia rose to a 10-year high of US $ 178 per ton, which compensated for the slight decline in demand in China.
Department of Energy Forecast Iron ore exports will reach new highs during the current fiscal year.