Brazil raises Import Tax in order to defend national industrial sector

7 September 2012

The Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) has approved a rise in Import Tax on 100 products, the country’s Finance Minister, Guido Mantega said this week.

The tax was raised to an average of 25 percent, which is lower than the 35 percent ceiling set by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), with a view to helping the industrial sector to deal with the international crisis and competition from foreign products and covers products from the steelmaking, petrochemical, fine chemical, pharmaceutical, and capital goods sectors.

The Brazilian press reported that a second list with over 100 products that will also be covered by a rise in Import Tax would be announced in October after it was approved by the Chamber for Foreign Trade.

Mantega said he hoped that the Brazilian industrial sector would increase production following the implementation of this measure and added, “we are living at a time when there is a lack of market around the world and exporters are seeking out Brazil, which is one of the few countries experiencing growth, and so national industry loses out.”

On announcing the measure, Mantega said that the government would follow developments in the price of equivalent national products, saying that no increases would be accepted, “in order to prevent inflation rising.”

In his turn, the Minister for Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Fernando Pimentel, denied that the government had adopted a protectionist measure to benefit Brazilian industry, saying that the list known as Tariff Exceptions was in line with WTO rules.

Pimentel also said that the list approved Tuesday would be submitted to other Mercosur members, and if there was no objection, it would come into force at the end of September. (macauhub)