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Wednesday, 8 December 1965


Mr FAIRHALL (Paterson) (Minister for Supply) . - by leave - Mr. Chairman, I move -

After clause 5, insert the following new clauses: - " 5a. - (1.) Section 9 of the Principal Act is amended -

(a)   by omitting sub-section (1.) and inserting in its stead the following sub-section: - (1.) If the Minister, after inquiry and report by the Tariff Board, is satisfied, as to any goods, that -

(a)   there has been paid or granted, directly or indirectly, upon the production, manufacture, carriage or export of any of those goods that have been exported to Australia, a subsidy, bounty, reduction or remission of freight or other financial assistance; and

(b)   the exportation of those goods is causing or threatening injury to an Australian industry producing or manufacturing like or directly competitive goods or may hinder the establishment of an Australian industry in connexion with the production or manufacture of like or directly competitive goods, the Minister may cause a notice to be published in the Gazette specifying the goods as to which he is so satisfied.'; and

(b)   by omitting from sub-section (3.) the words 'referred to in sub-section (1.) of this section' and inserting in their stead the words 'that the Minister is satisfied has been paid or granted, directly or indirectly, upon the production, manufacture, carriage or export of the goods'. "(2.) A notice specifying any goods published in the Gazette before the commencement of this Act in accordance with sub-section (1.) of section 9 of the Principal Act and in force immediately before that commencement continues in force as if it were a notice under sub-section (1.) of section 9 of the Principal Act, as amended by this Act, duly specifying those goods, but may be amended or revoked as if it were such a notice. "5b.- (1.) Section 10 of the Principal Act is amended -

(a)   by omitting sub-section (1.) and inserting in its stead the following sub-section: - (1.) If the Minister is satisfied, as to any goods produced or manufactured in a particular country, that -

(a)   there has been paid or granted, directly or indirectly, upon the production, manufacture, carriage or export of any of those goods that have been exported to Australia a subsidy, bounty, reduction or remission of freight or other financial assistance; and

(b)   the exportation of those goods is causing or threatening injury to the trade in the Australian market of producers or manufacturers in a third country of like or directly competitive goods, the Minister may cause a notice to be published in the Gazette specifying the goods as to which he is so satisfied.'; and

(b)   by omitting from sub-section (3.) the words referred to in sub-section (1.) of this section ' and inserting in their stead the words ' that the Minister is satisfied has been paid or granted, directly or indirectly, upon the production, manufacture, carriage or export of the goods '. "(2.) A notice specifying any goods published in the Gazette before the commencement of this Act in accordance with sub-section (1.) of section 10 of the Principal Act and in force immediately before that commencement continues in force as if it were a notice under sub-section (1.) of section 10 of the Principal Act, as amended by this Act, duly specifying those goods, but may be amended or revoked as if it were such a notice. "5c. After section 10 of the Principal Act the following section is inserted: - 10a.- (1.) Where the Minister is satisfied that, by reason of any circumstance, including the granting of rebates, refunds or other allowances, goods exported to Australia have been carried from the country of export to Australia freight free, or the amount or the net amount of freight, expressed in Australian currency, paid or payable in respect of the carriage of the goods is less than the normal freight in relation to the goods -

(a)   the Minister shall be deemed, for the purposes of sub-section (1.) of section nine, or sub-section (1.) of section ten, of this Act, to be satisfied that a reduction of freight has been granted upon the carriage of the goods; and

(b)   where a special duty under section nine or section ten of this Act is chargeable (whether by virtue of this section or otherwise) on goods as to which the Minister is so satisfied, the Minister shall be deemed, for the purposes of sub-section (3.) of section nine, or sub-section (3.) of section ten, of this Act, to be satisfied that the amount of the reduction of freight that has been granted upon the carriage of the goods is an amount equal to -

(i)   in the case of goods carried freight free - the amount of the normal freight in relation to the goods; and

(ii)   in the case of other goods - the amount by which the normal freight in relation to the goods exceeds the amount or the net amount of the freight, expressed in Australian currency, paid or payable in respect of the carriage of the goods. (2.) In this section - "the normal freight", in relation to goods exported to Australia, means the amount of freight that would have been payable in respect of the carriage of the goods from the country of export to Australia if the rate of freight applicable to that carriage were a rate determined by the Minister to be the appropriate rate, in Australian currency, in respect of that carriage having regard to the ruling rates of freight (if any), at the date of exportation of the goods, in respect of the carriage of similar goods by general cargo vessels trading regularly wilh Australia, and to any other matter that the Minister considers relevant.'. " Sd. Section 11 of the Principal Act is amended by omitting the words ' any of the last four preceding sections ', and inserting in their stead the words 'section seven, eight, nine or ten of this Act '.".

These amendments are intended to counter certain trade practices which have only recently come under notice. These practices will, if they continue unchecked, undermine the tariff protection afforded Australian industries with consequential damage to those industries. One of the most important clements which must be taken into account in determining the prices at which imported goods can be sold on the Australian market in competition with locally produced goods is the overseas freight cost. In assessing the level of tariff necessary to protect efficient Australian industries all elements of cost, including the cost of overseas freight, associated with the imported product are taken into account. Needless to say the level of tariff protection is based on the normal or ruling costs associated with the imported product. Hence, if overseas suppliers are able to negotiate freight rates which are significantly lower than the normal rates, then obviously the competitive position of the Australian industry is placed in jeopardy. Recent experience has shown that, particularly for industrial chemicals, the freight rates for certain shipments have been very much lower than the normal rates which would have been taken into account in assessing the level of tariff protection. I has been found that certain chemicals have been carried on charter vessels at rates which are only one third of the ruling rates.

There is some doubt as to whether the existing provisions of the Customs Tariff (Dumping and Subsidies) Act 1961 embodies powers to counter all forms of freight dumping. The amendment which I have just proposed merely restores the provisions which were incorporated for many years in the old Customs Tariff (Industries Preservation) Act which was repealed in 1961 when the present Act was introduced. The proposed amendments to Australia's anti-dumping law stem from the Government's determination to protect local industry against the invidious practice of dumping in all its varied forms.

There is no need for me to reiterate here the kind of damage that dumping can do to Australian industry and the Australian economy as a whole. Honorable members will recall that the Committee of Economic Enquiry expressed concern regarding the effects of dumping and emphasised the necessity for strengthening the existing law. That we are now doing.







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