Australian Steel Association


December 2019

Opinion Piece - Do Lemmings close their eyes as they jump off cliffs?

As the Industry Minister considers a raft of amendments to Australia’s anti-dumping laws it is worth reflecting on the impacts of inflated input costs on Australian industry.

Case 1 – Quenched & Tempered Plate.

Quenched & Tempered (Q&T) Plate is a heat treated and cooled steel plate that is stronger and harder than ordinary carbon steel.


Q&T Plate is used for the manufacture and repair of machinery, in truck trailer manufacture and for structures where greater abrasion resistance or higher yield strength are required.


In this instance an anti- dumping application was raised against Finland, Sweden & Japan.


This is noteworthy because of the high pricing intrinsic in the value proposition from these countries due to their superior quality as acknowledged in numerous responses from Australian manufacturers.


China, which may have been a more obvious candidate for inclusion, was notably excluded from the anti-dumping application.


Whether the applicants’ supply from their joint venture partner impacted this decision is unclear.


The result of the case is that Australian industry is now subject to input taxes, (their words), that range from 9.6% to 26.1%.


In the quest for a level playing field 9.6% let alone a 26.1% increase in your primary input is difficult to digest if not catastrophic.


As far as the consequences for the future of manufacturing it is perhaps overly simple to consider the Australian jobs at risk:



60 employees


Affected Australian Industry:


i.e: Australian Manufacturers predominantly using Quenched & Tempered Plate


Australian Manufacturer                      Number of



Aries Rail                                                               25

Bulk Transport Equipment                                70

South East Queensland Tilt Tray                      25

TEI Services                                                          15

Tuff Trailers                                                          50

Alliance Laser                                                       28

Bruce Rock Engineering                                   160

Adelaide Profiling Services                              150

Metso Australia                                                > 60

Australian Steel                                                   35

ATA Steel                                                               31

G&G Mining Fabrication                                 >70

Hercules Engineering                                      100

Total Steel                                                          150

Goldmont Engineering                                      60

Shephard Transport Equipment                      40

Toomey Earthmovers                                        10

Kennedy Trailers                                                 65


Total `Australian jobs’ at risk                       1044


These are only the employees from Australian manufacturers who have responded on this case.

The real number is greater.


Additionally, 3 employees at SSAB Australia recently lost their jobs last week as a result of this case.

Read more here.

Previous ASA newsletters and others can be found here.

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