Steel federation calls for ceasefire in media battle with Megasteel

Monday, August 1, 2011

PETALING JAYA: The ongoing media war between Megasteel Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Iron and Steel Federation (MISIF) on the issue of additional duty on imported hot rolled coils (HRC) should be put to a stop.

Clarifying an earlier statement by Megasteel chairman Tan Sri William Cheng, a MISIF spokesperson said: “Nearly 85% of MISIF's members approached in a MISIF survey had indicated that their company operations would be negatively impacted if Megasteel's petition for a safeguard duty was imposed.” MISIF also said the 14 companies mentioned earlier by Cheng were mostly interested parties that would be directly affected by the safeguard petition on additional duty.

They had decided to act collectively through a joint effort, including the engagement of trade and legal experts in the investigation process and they had made submissions provided under the safeguard law and regulations.

In his statement, Cheng had highlighted that only 14 out of 138 MISIF members were complaining about the petition.

Megasteel, in its petition, has asked for an additional 35% duty imposed on imported HRC, which currently attracts an import duty of 25%.

There were other affected companies which had decided to address the matter via their own initiatives, and some through their parent companies overseas, the spokesperson told StarBiz yesterday.

Some companies wanted to remain anonymous while others, though not involved in similar flat products, had shown their support.

Cheng, in his statement, had spoken of a clear basis to confirm the surge in HRC imports, referring to MISIF president Chow Chong Long's speech at the South-East Asia Iron and Steel Institute (SEAISI) conference in May that almost one million tonnes of HRC were imported in 2010 and that local production had declined to 1.2 million tonnes in 2010 from 2.1 million tonnes in 2007.

The spokesman rebutted that the total HRC imports included grades/specifications that Megasteel was not able to produce as well as the HRC imported for manufacturing for export was granted import duty exemption from the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority.

The spokesperson also rebutted Cheng's claims that the majority of MISIF's members were not in agreement with the federation's stand on the safeguard petition, adding that it was not true that its members had resigned over this.

“As at today, none of the MISIF members has written or indicated that he is supporting the Megasteel safeguard petition,” he said.

“We trust the wisdom of the Government to decide on the negative finding and termination of the safeguard investigation,” the spokesperson said, referring to the Government's decision to extend the investigation period to Aug 28.

source: the star


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