Anti-dumping tax is not the answer (Taipei Times, Edirorial, 2007.2.13)Anti-dumping tax is not the answerBy Tu Jenn-hwa 杜震華Tuesday, Feb 13, 2007, Page 8 Following the row over cheap Chinese towels flooding the Taiwanese market last year, the government is once again under pressure from business owners to implement an anti-dumping duty to protect domestic shoe manufacturers. If this situation isn't handled correctly, Taiwan could be left in the dust behind a number of advancing nations. Protecting uncompetitive Taiwanese 負債整合businesses with all kinds of non-duty trade barriers will not only retard the advance of domestic industries, but will also impose higher costs on consumers. Such a policy would lead to Taiwan's status being "the tail end of Asia's four tigers." Taiwan needs to act prudently. Shoe manufacturers, like other traditional industries, are labor intensive, low-tech and unable to combat the challenge of producers in developing countries. Today's threat comes from China, but tomorrow it could be India or Vietnam. The more we 面膜protect these businesses, the more they will become uncompetitive, ultimately resulting in higher prices for consumers. Factories may stay open for the time being, but they will have to close eventually. Recognizing the trends clearly and early and then either transferring production to a different industry segment or merging with other producers and upgrading facilities and competitiveness are both better options than protectionism using anti-dumping duties. Some people do not believe that Taiwanese industry is big enough for these 酒店工作solutions to work. They say that if consumers have to pay more, as a kind of legally mandated "relief," it is still better than allowing manufacturers to go out of business. The costs of trade protectionism, however, are extremely high. Research published in the mid-1990s by the US' Institute for International Economics showed that a 20 percent import duty on rubber shoes might create 1,700 job opportunities, but it would cost consumers US$210 million per year. In other words, consumers would have to fork out an absurd US$122,000 術後面膜to protect each job. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Finance understand these statistics and the resulting effect well, but neither dares face up to pressure from business owners and legislators. They make a show of imitating the US -- first using an International Trade Commission survey to confirm that domestic industry is indeed suffering tangible losses, then the finance ministry assesses the extent of the damage and finally they use this data as a basis for approving an anti-dumping tax. During the "towel 買房子controversy," the government slapped a massive 204 percent tax on Chinese towels and mandated that it be kept in force for as long as five years. However, it also permitted six Chinese towel companies to voluntarily raise their prices to a minimum level, established by the Taiwanese government, and continue to export. By employing the anti-dumping tax combined with government imposed price limits, the government avoided its responsibility -- to devise a real policy -- and it didn't solve the ongoing plight of Taiwanese industry, 保濕面膜and the displeasure among towel manufacturers might still have political consequences. The same thing is about to happen with shoe manufacturers. The economics ministry has already confirmed that the domestic industry is suffering tangible losses. Although pressure from legislators made the finance ministry willing to delay for a month an investigation into whether or not Chinese manufacturers are dumping shoes on the Taiwanese market, if the government follows the example of its towel misadventure its tactics will be similarly empty 資產管理公司and lead to more anger among Taiwanese manufacturers. If, however, it introduces real anti-dumping measures then the price of shoes will rise dramatically and prompt a backlash from consumers. The Cabinet can no longer afford to allow the two ministries to play this game, but it isn't willing to take responsibility. Membership numbers at the Taiwan Footwear Manufacturers Association have already fallen from 1,423 companies in 1989 to around 400 today. Only two companies have more than 1,000 employees. Even though there aren't 機車借款many workers in the shoe industry left, the Cabinet should help these companies transform or merge so they can survive. It could provide a subsidy for small and medium-sized factories that will enable them to send employees abroad to study design, or help fund a "footwear design and sports and leisure technology research and development center" and invite renowned international experts to come and teach the Taiwanese shoe industry how to elevate standards to best quality. La New, a successful Taiwanese footwear company, was established 酒店工作by Merry Yard Enterprise Corp in 1996 and is doing very well. Aso Shoes, which was established in 1952 and was listed on the stock exchange in 1965, now has six direct outlets in Australia. Businesses should cooperate with the government to find a real solution, rather than hang around like economic parasites. Tu Jenn-hwa is an associate professor at National Taiwan University's Graduate Institute of National Development. Translated by Marc Langer

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