BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS AND ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
CHRIS BOWEN MP
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
SENATOR KIM CARR
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INNOVATION, INDUSTRY, SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA
THE HON JASON CLARE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR RESOURCES AND NORTHERN AUSTRALIA
MEMBER FOR BLAXLAND
LABOR WILL TOUGHEN ANTI-DUMPING PROTECTIONS
A Shorten Labor Government will triple penalties for circumventing trade remedies, better resource the Anti-Dumping Commission and create a one-stop shop under a tougher regime that will safeguard Australian manufacturing and agricultural jobs now and into the future.
Australian manufacturing jobs depend upon a strong anti-dumping regime that is able to respond to global developments and catch unscrupulous exporters seeking to exploit loopholes in the system. Labor strongly believes in free trade, but we also believe that it needs to be conducted on a level playing field.
The US decision to increase tariffs raises a real risk that that other countries could potentially use Australia as a dumping ground for steel they would have sold to the US. If this happens, it puts Australian jobs at risk.
Under the conservative Government, Australian manufacturing industries are already feeling the pressure of soaring energy costs. This pressure is being compounded by the actions of foreign companies dumping goods in Australia at a price below the normal value in the exporting country.
Labor will not let Australia become a dumping ground for cheap foreign goods sent here by trade cheats.
Unlike the Conservatives who are sitting on their hands, Labor will take action to make sure Australian businesses and workers get a fair go.
Labor’s plan will triple penalties for circumventing anti-dumping provisions, increase funding to the Anti-Dumping Commission by $3.5 million a year, and transfer responsibility for safeguards investigations from the Productivity Commission to the Anti-Dumping Commission.
Tripling anti-dumping circumvention penalties
Australia currently lags behind comparable countries in the penalties applied in response to dumping. For example in 2015, Australia imposed duties of 24 per cent on dumped steel while the United States was imposing duties of 256 per cent. Australia rarely imposes anti-dumping penalties in excess of 30 per cent.
A Shorten Labor Government’s tougher regime will triple penalties for companies attempting to circumvent anti-dumping laws by misclassifying goods. In a global environment where dumping is likely to increase, Labor’s tougher penalties will send a strong signal of Australia’s willingness to take action.
Revenue from this increase in penalties will be invested into strengthening Australia’s anti-dumping system.
A better resourced Anti-Dumping Commission
With an ever growing threat of dumping, it’s essential that we toughen up the Anti-Dumping Commission. A Shorten Labor Government will increase funding for the Commission by $3.5 million a year, meaning it is more responsive, more active and more expeditious in conducting investigations.
Labor expects this funding to increase staff numbers at the Commission by around 30, which translates to at least one new investigative team.
We will task this new team with investigating issues around steel and aluminium – which already make up the bulk of the Commission’s work, and prioritise rapid responses to suspected breaches of trade rules.
The Anti-Dumping Commission will take control of safeguards investigations
A Shorten Labor Government will create a one stop shop for anti-dumping by moving Australia’s entire trade remedy system under the Anti-Dumping Commission.
Currently, responsibility for trade remedies is split between the Anti-Dumping Commission, which deals with dumping and countervailing measures, and the Productivity Commission, which deals with applying actions in response to a large and sudden increase in imports – measures known as safeguards. This division of responsibilities is out of step with global best practice and has led to an onerous and cumbersome process.
By putting all of our trade remedies under one roof, Australian industry will be afforded the same support as our global trade competitors.
Dumping is a particular problem for Australia’s steel industry, where over 60 per cent of current anti-dumping measures are in force. The announcement by the United States of a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel will increase the threat of more steel being dumped in Australia, putting further pressure on an industry already feeling the impact of a glut of Chinese steel production.
More information about Labor’s tougher anti-dumping plan can be found here.
FRIDAY, 9 MARCH 2018
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