Quality Assurance: Brazil Probes Chinese Mobile Phone Imports
The Brazilian ministry of development, trade and industry is investigating claims by Brazilian cellphone producers that their Chinese counterparts are dumping cheap handsets on the market. The intense rate of importation of what the Ministry believes are substandard telecommunications products is having adverse effect on the domestic opportunity for sustainable production.
“These are being sold here below the cost of production,” said Abinee, the Brazilian association of electrical and electronics industries. “We can’t compete.”
The move follows other measures by Brazil to curb cheap imports from China as one of the world’s newest and most important trading partnerships becomes more adversarial.
In one of its strongest moves, Brazil sharply increased a tax affecting imported cars produced outside of the South American Mercosur trade region and Mexico last year – a measure that followed a flood of Chinese-made vehicles into the country.
Abinee gave an interesting example when discussing the checks and balances coming in to place on said imports – Brazil’s electrical and electronics sector expected sales last year to have reached nearly R$135bn (US$75bn) but about R$40bn of this was from imports, an increase of almost 15 per cent.
Imports of mobile phones were estimated to have more than doubled to 15m units last year and now comprised about 20 per cent of the market. These phones were entering Brazil with prices of between $10 and $15, a cost that the association described as “completely beyond reality” in Brazil.
For this reason, domestic production of cellphones had fallen since 2009 in spite of overall growth in the market.