Return your Christmas presents – quick!

The Prime Minister has just issued a press release to ‘strengthen’ Australia’s anti-dumping regime. Yes, protectionism is the new black. Once again the Government has relied on a report from its favoured protectionist adviser, John Brumby (isn’t there something unethical about Julia Gillard contracting her former boss all the time?)

Anyhow, if one of your relatives buys a nice Christmas present and gives it to you – that is dumping. Return the present – you should pay full price for your own presents from your local manufacturer.

Clearly the Prime Minister doesn’t understand that the objective of trade is to buy the most imports for the least exports.

To stop all of this evil dumping, might I suggest some kind of voluntary export restraint agreement between the Australian Government and the Chinese Government? If we are going to cut back on our consumer surplus, we may as well let the Chinese have more of a consumer surplus.

Really, it’s outrageous isn’t it? All those foreigners trying to sell us goods at too low a price! Don’t they know that our dignity demands that we pay more for the goods than other countries do. Australians like to pay more for their goods and services. The evidence for that: they do pay more for their goods and services. All of those boat people and other immigrants seeking entry to Australia are drawn to Australia because of our high prices. Why shouldn’t we be known as the most expensive country on earth?

This new protectionist measure is on top of those other wonderful measures the Prime Minister boasts about in her press release:

 • The $5.4 billion New Car Plan, which is supporting automotive manufacturing in Australia;
• The $1 billion Clean Technology Program which is investing in new energy-efficient equipment at manufacturing businesses around Australia;
• The $300 million Steel Transformation Plan which is supporting investment in steel manufacturing.

The Gillard Government’s policies demonstrate its commitment to Australian manufacturing in tough times.

By contrast, the Coalition voted against the Clean Technology Program and the Steel Transformation Plan and would cut $1.5 billion from the New Car Plan, putting hundreds of thousands of Australian manufacturing jobs at risk.

These decisions ensure:

  • Slower productivity growth in Australia
  • more lower paid jobs in Australia
  • lower living standards

It’s back to the 50s with these policies. Hawke and Keating are not the models for the modern Labor party. No, it’s Black Jack McEwen.

Who is going to head the new Anti-Dumping Commission? Don’t be surprised if it’s John Brumby. He has his lips firmly on the taxpayers’ teat while formulating policies that strip away our living standards.

About Samuel J

Samuel J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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20 Responses to Return your Christmas presents – quick!

  1. Oblique

    Anti-dumping Commission – another constipated bureaucracy.

  2. Jim Rose

    you must protect people from the scourge of lower prices.

  3. murph the surf.

    It is a job creation scheme for Victorians.
    “The Gillard Government’s policies demonstrate its commitment to Australian manufacturing in tough times.”
    No it demonstrates the government’s commitment to using tax dollars to support internationally uncompetitive industries which employ ALP supporters.
    Julia Canute – at the edge if the waters commanding globalisation to stop…

  4. PSC

    Clearly the Prime Minister doesn’t understand that the objective of trade is to buy the most imports for the least exports.

    Neither do I.

    That sounds a lot like mercantilism.

    I thought the objective of trade was to buy the goods/services for the lowest costs, wherever they are produced, and sell whatever you have a competitive advantage in producing. In that way you make both countries, the importer and the exporter, wealthier.

  5. Alfonso

    Viva the internet.
    Reject Aussie bleeder / battler cost plus retailers, then maybe they’ll go away.

  6. Splatacrobat

    Another Kodak moment

  7. Entropy

    Sounds like you agree, or at least consistent with the Prof, PSC, just being long winded about it.

  8. Louis Hissink

    Clearing the decks for an election I suspect – this looks like a payoff for the unions in the affected industries.

  9. Dr Faustus

    Manufacturing employs nearly one million Australians in skilled and decently-paid jobs and is a central part of a resilient, diverse and broad-based economy.

    The need for the Government to provide massive financial support the automotive, steel and [ahem] ‘Clean Technology’ industries directly contradicts the resilient economy argument. To the extent that these industries are unable to behave resiliently because of structural inflexibility in the economy, it is welfare spending by another name.

  10. Luke

    For almost all of my life I have found many of the items I want can’t even be bought from Australian sources. We simply don’t make most types of consumer goods. So it’s not just a matter of paying more, it’s having to go without.

    It seems to me this stuff is less about buying Australian to support Australian manufacturing, and more about buying from an Australian middle man importer who controls what you get and how much you pay for it.

  11. I support anti-dumping measures to the extent of stopping for example, what China did to bring about a monopoly on rare earth minerals, but coming from Gillard it is of no doubt protectionism in disguise. What she must argue (she can’t and she won’t) that the existing anti-dumping laws are inadequate.

    I notice no mention in the MSM about the $billions of other handouts they can’t afford. A compliant media yet again. Are we going to go back to the 70s with our cars using 50s technology again?

  12. dianeh

    Im not a supporter of protectionism in general but do support anti dumping laws where the low cost of the imports is due to govt subsidies in the country of origin. I have no issue with lower production costs resulting in lower cost imports. But I do have a problem where a govt heavily subsidises industry, exporting the arificially cheap product with the aim of destroying competition.

    Import tariffs matching foreign govt subsidies on the imported goods is the only protection that I agree with. If our base costs are too high, then we need to rationalise and become more efficient, not give out govt subsidies to failing businesses, that are usually heavily unionised.

  13. .

    No, they are bad too. As a small open economy, the gains from liberalisation are mostly internal.

    We have to make ourselves as productive as possible and then be as frugal as possible with purchasing.

  14. Lysander Spooner

    Did we just re-enter protectionist Australia?

  15. Lysander Spooner

    I also want to go back to the “real terms” of the Constitution and its “anti-dumping” policy whereby some dips… from Canberra who represents a totally different area in Australia doesn’t represent me.

  16. “it is welfare spending by another name.”

    Or simply “waste” by another name.

  17. kingsley

    I’m with dianeh in that if there were 2 competitors within Australia and one had a product that was say more “environmentally friendly” or other such nonsense so received a subsidy I think everyone here would be vehemently opposed too it but if the subsidised competitor is from outside our borders one gets a sense many commenters are in favour of this. Am I right or am I doing people an injustice?

  18. Tel

    Well the Australian government might stop borrowing from the Chinese, and with $50 billion per annum less currency manipulation our dollar would not be so high and our local manufacturers would be more competitive.

    Just a suggestion.

  19. Tel

    I support anti-dumping measures to the extent of stopping for example, what China did to bring about a monopoly on rare earth minerals.

    It just happens to be a lot cheaper to mine some rare earths in China where they have excellent deposits. That’s not a monopoly, that’s just a natural advantage to the country that has those resources. Next week we will be putting an embargo on the Middle East because they have too much oil.

  20. Mundi

    5.4$ billion on the car industry? This is very depressing and it makes me really mad. I can only imagine the nonsense that penny Wong will spout about this.

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