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Tuesday, 26 October 1971
Page: 2562

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for

Trade and Industry, upon notice:

(1)   Does a policy of protection to inefficient industries reduce export potential ofthose industries and of other industries carrying the cost of that protection.

(2)   Will be investigate ways to offset or reduce those costs of production resulting from price support for other industries, but only to the extent of maintaining viability for efficient producers, so that those least in need will not as at present obtain the lion's share of price support benefits.

Mr Anthony (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Deputy Prime Minister) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Government policy is to accord reasonable protection against import competition !o industries, whether primary or secondary, which, after a full public inquiry and report by the Tariff Board are judged to be economic and efficient.

(2)   lt would be contrary to this policy to reduce protective rates of duty without a prior inquiry and report by the Tariff Board. The Government is concerned that protective duties should be no higher than necessary to accord reasonable protection to economic and efficient industries and has initiated a progressive review of the Tariff by the Tariff Board. This review has started with the machinery section of the Tariff, to be followed in due course by references in the area of manufactures of metal. This sequence of reviews is as recommended by the Tariff Board.

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