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Anti-dumping reforms to support Australian industry



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PRIME MINISTER

MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY AND INNOVATION MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS

ANTI-DUMPING REFORMS TO SUPPORT AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY

The Gillard Government will deliver stronger protection for Australian industry against unfair competition from overseas by reforming the anti-dumping system.

Manufacturing employs nearly one million Australians in skilled and decently-paid jobs and is a central part of a resilient, diverse and broad-based economy.

The sector faces challenges from the high Australian dollar, economic weakness in Europe, intense global competition and an oversupply of some traded goods in international markets.

A key concern is evidence of a significant increase in dumping - the unfair trade practice where imported goods are sold in Australia at prices below their normal value, injuring local businesses and their workers.

It is not acceptable for Australian jobs to be put at risk by products being dumped into this country.

Manufacturing provides a quarter of Australia’s business R&D expenditure, a third of our traditional trade apprenticeship completions and almost 30 per cent of our exports.

The Government will support manufacturing by strengthening the system for investigating dumping and applying remedies where dumping is injuring local producers.

The key reforms will:

 Establish a new Anti-Dumping Commission to investigate complaints;  Boost funding to Customs by $24.4 million over four years so it can deal with cases speedily and fairly - this will almost double the number of investigators;  Make the anti-dumping system easier for small and medium-sized

businesses; and  Introduce stricter remedies against overseas producers who deliberately circumvent Australia’s anti-dumping rules.

Australian-made products affected by dumping in recent years include steel, chemicals, aluminium goods and paper products. Sectors manufacturing these goods employ more than 150,000 Australians.

It is neither economically efficient nor fair for competitive Australian businesses to be disadvantaged by products dumped into our market.

We do not allow unfair trade practices by our own businesses, so we should not allow Australian jobs to be jeopardised by unfair trade practices from overseas producers.

These reforms will ensure competition is on a level playing field, supporting jobs in manufacturing and other industries.

They implement recommendations of the former Victorian Premier John Brumby’s report on the administration of the anti-dumping system and include additional initiatives to strengthen the system.

Mr Brumby’s report concluded that dumping into Australia is highly likely to increase and that an efficient and effective anti-dumping system is critical to retaining public confidence in free trade.

The Government will introduce legislation in 2013 to establish the new Anti-Dumping Commission.

The Commission will be based in Melbourne. It will report directly to the Minister for Home Affairs and utilise the systems of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Funding will also be extended for the International Trade Remedies Adviser to continue providing information, advice and support to small and medium sized enterprises on anti-dumping issues.

Today’s announcement builds on existing Gillard Government policies, including:

 The $5.4 billion New Car Plan, which is supporting automotive manufacturing in Australia;  The $1 billion Clean Technology Program which is investing in new energy-efficient equipment at manufacturing businesses around Australia;  The $300 million Steel Transformation Plan which is supporting investment

in steel manufacturing.

The Gillard Government’s policies demonstrate its commitment to Australian manufacturing in tough times.

By contrast, the Coalition voted against the Clean Technology Program and the Steel Transformation Plan and would cut $1.5 billion from the New Car Plan, putting hundreds of thousands of Australian manufacturing jobs at risk.

MELBOURNE 4 DECEMBER 2012

PRESS OFFICE (02) 6277 7744

MR COMBET’S OFFICE (02) 6277 7620 MR CLARE’S OFFICE (02) 6277 7290