AMSA is not party to and, needless to say, has not agreed to the settlement.
Although this is an out-of-court settlement, it is, at least for the foreseeable future, and perhaps beyond, a victory and a breakthrough for the steel downstream.
AMSA’s response to the latest event is ”interesting”, to say the least:
- AMSA says it will pursue its options in this matter in the “interest of the steel industry”. This is entirely misleading. AMSA does nothing “in the interest of the steel industry”; it’s all about their own interests. The interests of the steel industry do not appear on their radar.
- AMSA says that the “expiry of the safeguard is unlikely to impact the price levels of these products in the near future”. If this is so, why does AMSA pursue duty protections so diligently? Although they play this down, for them it is a matter of life and death, or, at the very least, selfish own interest.
Although this settlement is a very important breakthrough, the war is not won. AMSA will do everything in its power to regain lost ground. Now is not the time for being complacent; now is the time for preparation for the next round of the steel battle.
IN THE MEANTIME, DO NOT FORGET:
- Importers of hot rolled coil still have to pay a 10% customs duty.
- Therefore, for the steel industry to be normalised, in terms of availability, quality and price of steel, these customs duties have to be scrapped as well.
Gerhard Papenfus is the Chief Executive of the National Employers' Association of South Africa (NEASA).