The Argentine government has began a round of consultations with the manufacturing sector to determine which capital goods from non Mercosur members can be listed for a higher common external tariff as was recently agreed by the trade block.
The Ministry of Industry contacted the Argentine Chamber of Industry Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers requesting they supply a list of products they consider a priority to be incorporated into the one hundred tariff positions to which Argentina will apply a higher common external tariff, in accordance with the latest Mercosur summit.
Capital goods manufacturers must also identify those products which they consider must be added to the non automatic import licence system o should be protected against dumping practices.
However Minister of Industry Debora Giorgi said that the Argentine government initiative must be matched by a commitment from manufacturers to keep investing, respect price levels, substitute imports, create jobs, increase exports and adequately supply the domestic market.
According to a release from the ministry, manufacturers must comply with these commitments based on agreements to be signed with the Argentine government.
Last December Mercosur agreed that each member country could increase import tariffs in up to 100 tariff positions but below the maximum 35% allowed by the World Trade Organization.
At the moment it was argued that the decision was taken to ensure the region from the consequences on international trade from the global crisis turbulences.
“We’re working with all manufacturing sectors to boost the competitiveness of our industry; Argentina must have a sustainable industry of capital goods and world class inputs”, said Minister Giorgi.
“We are working to preserve the domestic market, production and Argentine jobs from the international economic crisis and the over-supply of cheap goods generated in those countries suffering the crisis”, added Giorgi.
The one hundred tariff positions that each country is entitled to present to modify the common external tariff will be reported to the Mercosur Foreign Trade Commission and unless there are ‘well founded’ objections from other country members, the measure becomes immediately effective.