The Trade Remedies Act 2017 is poised to contribute to Kenya’s industrialization agenda by among others saving local industries from collapse as a result of unfair competition from imports.
According to Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo, Kenya’s Trade Remedies Agency needs to be established in accordance with section 3 of the Act to receive complains, undertake investigations and apply trade remedies in accordance with the World Trade Organization regulations.
A recent African Union Commission survey on Trade Remedies Institutions in Africa established that only Egypt and South Africa were WTO compliant with Kenya coming in third in Africa.
It is to this end that Trade Principal Secretary Dr. Chris Kiptoo says the government plans to set to a Remedies Agency to receive complains, undertake investigations and apply trade remedies.
Dr. Kiptoo notes that since the law and institution have been available beforehand, Kenya would have had a big chance in saving some of its industries from collapse as a result of unfair competition from imports.
With regards to enhancing industrialization, Dr. Kiptoo notes that Trade Remedies needs to be positively considered and implemented creatively to ensure Kenya and Africa as well address supply side constraints and produce goods that can be traded in the continent.
Currently, WTO Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement disciplines the use of subsidies to ensure exported goods are cheaper in the target country.
However, the Trade PS says that where any industry faces material injury from subsidized imports, the country may lodge a complaint for the initiation of a countervailing investigation hence the need to expedite setting up of a local Trade Remedies Agency.
To curb the widespread dumping of obsolete goods in the country, Dr. Kiptoo is urging local businesses to demonstrate evidence of dumping and injury to themselves to enable the government to lodge a formal complaint with the WTO since an anti-dumping action is only undertaken in response to an application from industry.