Traders of Imported Used Clothes Stage Protest at Trade Ministry HQ
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Association of Indonesian Imported Clothing Traders (HPPII) along with thrift traders from all over the country staged a protest in front of the Trade Ministry’s office in Central Jakarta today, June 6. About 300 traders of imported used clothes hailing from Sulawesi, Sumatra, West Java, Jakarta, and other regions joined the rally.
“Thrift [clothing] is not trash, we are thrift traders, not trash,” said a representative of Pasar Senen thrift-shop sellers, Robert Ginting, on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.
He said that there has been no certainty for used clothing traders thus far after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo banned the thrift business, which is followed by the issuance of the Trade Minister’s Regulation (Permendag) No. 40 of 2022 on the amendments to the Trade Minister’s Regulation No. 18 of 2021 on goods prohibited from being imported and exported.
Apart from that, Robert claimed that the authorities are still conducting raids on used clothing stores throughout the archipelago. The government had taken, confiscated, burned, and destroyed goods purchased by traders from importers.
“The government's arrogance really hurts the hearts of us, small traders throughout Indonesia, who are also MSMEs players,” he said.
He assessed that the government prefers Chinese importers over domestic thrift traders. In fact, China dominates the Indonesian clothing market at around 80 percent, while thrift traders only get less than 1 percent of the national market.
Jokowi had declared a ban on the business of importing secondhand clothes or thrifting. According to him, such a business disrupts the domestic textile industry.
“It's disrupting the domestic textile industry,” the state head said in Senayan, Central Jakarta, Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan had allowed traders to sell the remaining stocks as the government was focusing on stopping the smuggling of imported used clothes.
RIANI SANUSI PUTRI
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