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Australia Touts Free Trade While Chasing Protectionism

Posted February 20, 2018

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Giovanni Di Lieto – Asia Times)

The Australian government may be aggressively negotiating free-trade agreements, but in other ways it is restricting trade. The government has been giving itself extensive new anti-dumping powers, targeting steel and aluminum markets in particular.

There was a nearly twofold increase in anti-dumping investigations in Australia in 2017. According to the Australian Productivity Commission, these protectionist measures “raise costs to consumers and reduce competitive pressures, leading to less efficient resource use in the country levying the protection.”

Higher tariffs lift the costs of imports and disrupt global supply chains. This harms consumers, producers and workers.

The Productivity Commission estimates that for every one-dollar increase in tariff revenue, economic activity in Australia falls by 64 cents. Click here to read more.

Related: Help Us Fight Protectionism, Chaos: Bishop (SBS News)