Letters: Australia not above reproach on trade

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Description

Anti-dumping regime lacks transparency

Your report about Indonesia’s successful World Trade Organisation action against Australia’s anti-dumping duties on copy paper (‘‘Indonesia’s win against Australia’s tariff regime may embolden others’’, May 18), juxtaposed with China’s action against our barley exporters, prompted me to have another look at Australia’s current anti-dumping regime.
What I found is a system lacking in transparency (for example, try finding the duty margins!) or real independence (it resides within the Department of Industry) in which the devil lies in arcane administrative detail. Unsurprisingly, since the current regime has been in force, annual actions have trebled, making us one of the world’s biggest exploiters of this WTO ‘‘safeguard’’.
Australia’s steel and aluminium industries have been the main beneficiaries, accounting for two-thirds of 81 measures now in force. The countries copping most of the penalties comprise six of our Asian trading partners, with China alone accounting for one-third of measures. Actions have often been taken on the same products against multiple countries, which would seem to indicate more about our competitiveness than foreigners’ fairness.

Subject

Opinion Letters

Period20 May 2020

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleLetters: Australia not above reproach on trade
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletAustralian Financial Review - Green Steel
    Media typeWeb
    CountryAustralia
    Date20/05/20
    DescriptionAnti-dumping regime lacks transparency
    Your report about Indonesia’s successful World Trade Organisation action against Australia’s anti-dumping duties on copy paper (‘‘Indonesia’s win against Australia’s tariff regime may embolden others’’, May 18), juxtaposed with China’s action against our barley exporters, prompted me to have another look at Australia’s current anti-dumping regime.
    What I found is a system lacking in transparency (for example, try finding the duty margins!) or real independence (it resides within the Department of Industry) in which the devil lies in arcane administrative detail. Unsurprisingly, since the current regime has been in force, annual actions have trebled, making us one of the world’s biggest exploiters of this WTO ‘‘safeguard’’.
    Australia’s steel and aluminium industries have been the main beneficiaries, accounting for two-thirds of 81 measures now in force. The countries copping most of the penalties comprise six of our Asian trading partners, with China alone accounting for one-third of measures. Actions have often been taken on the same products against multiple countries, which would seem to indicate more about our competitiveness than foreigners’ fairness.
    Producer/AuthorProfessor Tom Smith
    URLhttps://www.afr.com/politics/federal/letters-australia-not-above-reproach-on-trade-20200519-p54ug8
    PersonsTom Smith