Trade protection back in the spotlight


Two recent events, and another one which will soon be revealed, foretell that “dumping” and “subsidisation” will share part of the industry regulation spotlight with carbon tax policy in 2011. The first of these events was the introduction of amendments to dumping laws which will make decisions to revoke dumping measures before their five year expiry less frequent. Secondly, a private Member’s bill introduced into Parliament on the same day proposes amendments which will step up the pressure on the Government to improve and extend the scope of protection afforded to Australian industries against allegedly dumped or subsidised goods.

And, to add to this intense focus on trade protection, Australian Customs is in the midst of preparing its response to the recommendations of last year’s Productivity Commission report on Australia’s anti-dumping and countervailing system. In that report the Commission made recommendations concerning many procedural, substantive, and operational matters. Of these, the most controversial has proven to be the recommendation that the Minister should not impose duties where that would not be in the “public interest”.

In this Trade Law Bulletin we look at these proposals in more detail, and explain the implications for Australian industries, for exporters and for importers.