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Aluminium - tariff board inquiry



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FOR PRESS

ALUMINIUM - TARIFF BOARD INQUIRY .

(Statement by R t . Hon. J . McEwen, Deputy P r i m e ' Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry). '

The existing restrictions on imports.of aluminium

ingot and scrap will be continued until the Tariff Board

completed a further inquiry on the industry and the

Government considered the Board's report. The Minister

for Trade and Industry, Mr. J. McEwen, said this today

when announcing that a reference had been sent to the Tariff

Board.

The industry is being protected by import

restrictions following a limited Tariff Board inquiry into

the protection required to give effect to a Government

undertaking when it sold the Bell Bay smelter in I960.

This undertaking will expire on 2nd January, 1965 and it

had been the intention to remove the restrictions after ·

that date. · - .

It is the Government's desire that, because of

the importance of the aluminium industry for future economic

development, there should be a viable industry in Australia

based on our own natural resources. .

Mr. McEwen recalled that there have been considerable

and significant changes in the aluminium situation both in

Australia and overseas since I960. Australia has extensive . .

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Broadcast or Published- before 4.30 p.m. on " ,17th November, 1964.

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bauxite resources which will be used in the. large facilities

being established for the production of alumina,, the raw

material for aluminium smelting. Smelting capacity has been

expanded sevenfold and domestic prices reduced. Although

world over-supply is being reduced there is still vigorous

competition in export markets often at marginal prices

considerably below normally listed world prices.

In these circumstances the industry has represented,

that it would be exposed to serious damage if left unprotected

while the Tariff Board made its inquiry.

' Mr. McEwen stated that it is clearly in the national

interest to continue the present restriction's on imports of

aluminium until the Government could decide what action is

necessary, in the light of the Tariff Board's report, to

achieve the economic, efficient and profitable development of

the industry.

CANBERRA, A.C.T.

17th November, 1964. 9 4/ 6 4T

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