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Metal Casting Technologies : March 2005
BRIEFINGS 12 METAL Casting Technologies March 2005 the strongest growth for Buhler in 2004, achieved in their Die Casting division. Buhler's Die Casting technology for the production of engine blocks and other highly complex light-alloy compo- nents also did very well in the European market. However, it is on a steep rise having now entered the Asian markets. The US market grew but to a lesser degree despite the weak dollar. Furnace Upgrade at Toowoomba Metal Technologies The automation of foundries to meet the global market challenges of the 21st century has just been addressed by Toowoomba Metal Technologies. They have commissioned a new Inductotherm 4500 kW 250 Hz VIP PI Dual-Trak power supply connected to two 6 tonne capac- ity Inductotherm Steel Shell Furnaces. The furnaces feature state of the art capabilities which include Clam Shell Fume Extraction Hoods for complete fume control, Back Tilting for ease of slag removal, Furnace Weighing for computer controlled melting and a Hydraulic Furnace Lining removal system. Trade Accord Signed by Chinese Prime Minister Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has signed a trade accord at an ASEAN regional summit meeting that calls for eliminating tariffs on a range of agricultural and manufactured goods by 2010. China, Japan, South Korea and India are not ASEAN members but attend the sessions. The China-ASEAN free trade area was first suggested by China two years ago. ASEAN leaders also agreed to eliminate many tariffs in 11 major groups of products, including textiles but excluding automobiles, by 2007. The 11 groups constitute more than 50 percent of intra-ASEAN trade. Tariff Reduction and Elimination: The ASEAN-China FTA stipulates a tariff reduction or elimination program for all goods according to the following categories: Normal Track Goods: Customs duty rates for normal track goods are to be gradually reduced from their applied MFN tariff rate to between 0-5% by 2010. Sensitive Track Goods: Customs duty rates for sensitive track goods are to be reduced over a longer period of time. Reports suggest that some ASEAN countries have listed automobiles, rice, sugar and vegetable oils as sensitive track goods whereas China has listed some iron and steel products in this category. The ASEAN-China FTA also provides that the tariff reductions will apply to China-ASEAN trade as well as intra- ASEAN trade. Rules of Origin and Operational Certification Procedures The ASEAN-China FTA also sets out rules of origin as well as procedures for the certification of products ("Operational Certification Procedures") that will qualify for the tariff concessions. Quantitative Restrictions and Non- Tariff Barriers ASEAN and China will be allowed to maintain quantitative restric- tions (e.g., quotas and tariff rate quotas) so long as they are in line with WTO commitments (or within 3-4 years for non-WTO ASEAN countries). Additionally, the ASEAN-China FTA provides that the parties will have fur- ther negotiations to eliminate non-tariff barriers. Moving forwards, these negotiations will provide industry with a forum to address the removal of existing non-tariff measures which have a significant impact on operations in these countries. Safeguard Measures: The ASEAN- China FTA includes provisions on safe- guard measures which will allow parties to impose certain measures to protect their domestic industries if as a result of the FTA, there is a sudden increase in imports of a particular product which causes or threatens to cause serious injury to the domestic industry producing like or directly competitive products. Such safeguard measures involves the temporary increase of the applicable tariff rates for such imports to the application WTO MFN rates for up to a period of 4 years. Implementing Regulations: China and the ASEAN countries have undertaken to complete their internal procedures to implement the ASEAN-China FTA early this year. City of Joy -- IFEX 2005 Delegates, including Daryl Vokes and Les Craig of Warrill Engineering Sales recently attended the 53rd Indian Foundry Congress and Foundry Exhibition IFEX 2005, held in Kolkata, India. Toowoomba Metal Technologies Furnace Daryl Vokes and Les Craig prior to Congress opening