Australia Wary of Low Quality Chinese-Made Building Materials Entering Into Market

Published By : 17 Jun 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

With Australia signing a free-trade agreement with China, industry players are afraid that this would lead to low standard building products entering into the Australian market and posing safety risks. In the past, import of falsely labelled products in sectors such as wood, steel, and windows to Australian market has been seen. These products claim to meet the Australian standards but fall below. Industry analysts have mentioned that with few regulations in place, these imports would increase under the current trade pact between the two countries.

According to Kristin Brookefield, the senior executive director looking after building development and environment at Housing Industry Association, lack of proper checking framework will lead to an increase in more such products entering into the Australian market. There has been a spike in imported building materials over the last decade in sectors such as aluminium, wood, glass, and electrical. Steel imports have crossed 500,000 tonnes by the end of 2012. As very little domestic manufacturing is done for these building products, the building and construction industries are dependent on the Chinese imports. Around 20% of the total material cost of a building comes from imported building materials. According to a survey by Ai Group in 2013, around 92% of the suppliers in the construction industry reported non-conforming products. Brookefield stressed that it needs to be ensured that the increasing imports from China through free-trade agreement would not increase non-conforming products in the market. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has recently launched an awareness campaign after the recall of Infinity electrical cable imported by China, which used low-standard plastic coating. However, according to Karen Andrews, the Parliamentary secretary responsible for construction, the new trade agreement would not lower the bar for imported goods. 
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