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The Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) is proposing the application of import duties for trade security measures (BMTP) or garment import safeguards. The goal is to protect the national textile and textile product (TPT) industry from imports.

However, University of Indonesia (UI) economist as well as Next Policy Executive Director Fithra Faisal believes that the implementation of BMTP is an inappropriate step, because it has the potential to trigger inefficiency. Safeguards are needed when there are domestic producers who are injured due to the entry of foreign products.

"However, first it must be proven what the degree of the injury is and do not let the safeguards impact other sectors," explained Fitra.

Sectorally, he continued, Indonesia could take advantage of the post-Covid-19 pandemic. This is because Indonesian and Chinese products, such as garments and textiles, are actually more complementary, not more competitive.

"This needs to be thought about carefully. First, the impact on the domestic economy, it must also be calculated carefully, which is empirically more negative," he asserted.

Second, he said, the impact on Indonesia's trade relations with other countries. Do not let another retaliation act happen which in the end will actually harm both parties.

Fitra also said, if you want to increase the competitiveness of local products with imported products by applying safeguards, the policy is the wrong target. Because, to increase competitiveness, what must be done is not by preventing other goods from entering.

"To increase competitiveness, the way is to improve upstream, education, matching the curriculum with industry, and improve the skills of the workforce. That must be done, not limiting it,” he explained.

The garment BMTP proposal is currently in stages at the Ministry of Finance. If approved, this policy will be stipulated through a Ministry of Finance Regulation (PMK) regarding the imposition of security measures import duties (BMTP) on imports of clothing products and clothing accessories.