The Jordanian government on Thursday endorsed regulations to protect local manufacturers against an increase of identical and competitive imports, a Ministry of Trade and Industry official said.
Ministry Secretary General Samer Tawil said such measures, intended to safeguard domestic products from actual or potential harm, allow the government to increase duties on such imports provided that local manufacturers prove the damages sustained to their industries.
“Jordan has liberalized the economy, and there are consequences,” Tawil told the Jordan Times. “But the World Trade Organization allows [governments] to introduce measures that will protect threatened local industries.”
Over the past five months, the ministry has received complaints, mainly from chocolate and biscuit producers, that their industries are facing hardships as a result of unjustified price differences. But many importers discourage any form of government protection stressing that local manufacturers need to enhance their quality of production.
Under recent regulations, published in the official gazette, local manufacturers need to petition the ministry and provide figures that illustrate how the sudden increase of identical imports affect their market share, incur losses or force plants to run at lower capacities.
“At the same time, local manufacturers will be given time to enhance their efficiency and upgrade their status,” Tawil stressed. He said the duties could be imposed for a period of up to four years and that the time period could be extended if domestic producers prove that they are still losing their market share.
Tawil said the ministry is expected to introduce regulations to protect local industries from unfair trade, including anti-dumping regulations. . — ( Jordan Times )
By Suha Ma'ayeh
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)