Brumby to investigate anti-dumping agency

John Brumby has been appointed to investigate the feasibility of setting-up a Commonwealth agency to tackle anti-dumping.

Brumby – the former premier and treasurer of Victoria – will provide advice on the best structure for administering Australia’s anti-dumping system.

Minister for home affairs and justice, Jason Clare, said Brumby will also research and report the benefits and costs of setting-up such as agency.

“Because this is such a specialised task there may be real benefits in establishing a specialist agency. That is why I have commissioned this work,” said Clare.

"John Brumby brings formidable public policy experience to this role. He understands economic issues deeply, having served as both the Premier and Treasurer of Victoria over the course of a decade.

"He also understands the particular pressures faced by the Australian manufacturing sector.”

Brumby will be responsible for investigating a range of factors that need to be considered before the government sets-up a specialist anti-dumping agency. These include:

  • The current arrangements for considering anti-dumping cases and policy;
  • The benefits and costs of retaining this function within the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service;
  • The benefits and costs of establishing an agency to conduct anti-dumping assessments and investigations;
  • The functions, including assessments, investigations and compliance, and powers that would be necessary for an agency to conduct effective anti-dumping assessments and investigations;
  • The relationship between such an agency and existing appeals processes;
  • The organisational structure that would be required for such an agency; and
  • Any other relevant matters.

Brumby will be appointed a secretariat situated in the Attorney-General's Department.

Brumby is due to report his findings to government by 30 November, 2012.

Back in May, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) set up an advisory service of its own to help SMEs tackle dumping.  Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said at the time that the advisory service is an additional tool in the support services that Ai Group delivers to Australian SME businesses, and is open to all SMEs who qualify – not just Ai Group members.

"Until now, the cost and complexity of preparing an application for anti-dumping measures was just beyond the reach of most Australian SMEs,” said Willox.

“Now Australian businesses, no matter what their size, will have access to a specialist service to prepare and apply for anti-dumping measures, where appropriate.”

This week, Willox welcomed Brumby's appointment and the government's foresight in setting-up the agency. 

"We welcome the Government's appointment today of John Brumby to investigate the feasibility of a Commonwealth anti-dumping agency," said Willox.

"In response to industry concerns, the Government has been taking positive and welcome steps towards addressing anti-dumping however, more needs to be done to ensure complaints are investigated in an efficient and timely manner which gives confidence to all parties involved. The creation of a broader authority with extensive powers would be a very welcome and important next step.

"The establishment of a properly resourced and stand-alone anti-dumping authority may help address some of industry's continuing concerns, some of which relate to the skill levels of Customs officials and their ability to get to the heart of dumping claims."

[Image: Intelasia.net]