The Federal Government has launched a new Anti-dumping Commission on Wednesday and has also announced the appointment of Mr. Dale Seymour as Anti-dumping Commissioner.
Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare officially introduced the new Commission in Melbourne saying it is “good news for Australian manufacturers and workers.”
The new Commission, which has a budget of $24 million, has already begun work on its first cases.
Speaking on ABC News on Wednesday morning Mr. Clare says the practice of dumping, in which imported goods are being sold below their home market value, affects a wide range of products.
“In recent times we’ve seen investigations into the building industry – steel, aluminium, timber – but we’ve also seen dumping happen with food products. We’ve got an investigation which kicks off today into peaches imported from South Africa and tomatoes imported from Italy,” says Mr. Clare.
According to ABC the number of dumping complaints tripled in 2012 and the spike in the number of cases is one of the reasons why a new Commission was established. The creation of an Anti-dumping Commission was also a recommendation of the Hon. John Brumby, former Premier of Victoria.
However not all analysts are against the idea of dumping.
Stephen Kirchner, a research fellow at the pro-free market Centre for Independent Studies, says anti-dumping measures can actually harm Australian producers.
“Despite the majority of connotations, really dumping just means that foreign producers are offering us low prices for imported goods and both Australian consumers and producers benefit from those lower prices,” said Mr. Kirchner.
Meanwhile, Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox says the creation of the Anti-dumping Commission is not a protectionism move but rather a means to level out the playing field.
“What Australian industry here is saying is that, we don’t want to restrict access from foreign competition, just want a fair go to be applied globally,” said Mr. Willox.
Willox said dumping is a double-edged sword, with consumers paying for a cheaper price, but not necessarily guaranteed an equivalent product in terms of quality.
“It may, that cheaper price will inevitably lead to job losses within Australia because local companies can’t compete. So, over the longer term, dumping is very corrosive to the Australian domestic economy,” he said.
In a related media release on the AI Group website Mr. Willox congratulated the appointed of Mr. Seymour as the head of the Commission and has expressed the commitment and active participation of the business group to the implementation of the recommendations that will reform Australia’s anti-dumping system.