Dump Protectionism – Support Australian Jobs

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: MINISTER CASH; MINISTER CIOBO; ASSISTANT MINISTER SESELJA

Australia has achieved a world-record 26 consecutive years of economic growth due to the fact we have embraced policies that encourage free trade. These policies have created thousands of jobs for Australians, and the story continues with record jobs growth last year.

Bill Shorten says he “strongly supports free trade”, yet the Australian public should know that Bill Shorten says one thing, but does another.

On the day of the signing of the TPP11 which will eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a trade zone with a GDP of $13.7 trillion, Bill Shorten is seeking to close the door on Australia’s opportunities for growth.

The Leader of the Opposition’s policy direction is once again trapped in the protectionist ideology of the radical left. More alarming is his failure to understand basic economics.

His comments today echo the anti-business, anti-growth, anti-jobs agenda of his union bosses while proclaiming a commitment to free trade. Who knows what he will say tomorrow?

The Coalition Government has been unwavering in its commitment to the trade liberalising policies that have underpinned growth in this nation for decades.

This includes a strong track record on building a robust and effective anti-dumping regime that delivers a level playing field for Australian manufacturers and producers while supporting jobs, competitive consumer prices, business growth and international competitiveness.

In 2015, the Coalition Government introduced a suite of legislative and operational anti-dumping reforms including:

  • placing a greater onus on overseas businesses to cooperate with investigations
  • introducing more stringent deadlines for submissions
  • cracking down on uncooperative exporters
  • improving assistance for small and medium Australian businesses
  • addressing circumvention of anti-dumping duties
  • reducing red tape and improving certainty, and
  • improving the anti-dumping merits review process.

Further, in 2016, we announced:

  • a new investigation model to improve the timeliness, quality and evidence base of investigations
  • a more active, risk based approach to address proven circumvention activities
  • a stronger whole-of-government approach to compliance
  • enhancing the Commission’s market intelligence capability and access to information, and
  • delegating some of the Minister’s routine powers to the Anti-Dumping Commissioner.

Just as we would have missed the unprecedented opportunities provided by the TPP11 under a Labor Government, Australian jobs are at risk if Labor’s policies of protectionism go unchallenged.

The Coalition remains to committed a system which provides the certainty and protections for Australian businesses and the jobs they create.