Unions, Ai Group applaud Anti-Dumping Commission announcement

Prime minister Julia Gillard has announced that legislation for an Anti-Dumping Commission would be introduced to parliament next year.

The Commission, based on the recommendations of a review by former Victorian premier John Brumby handed down last week, has particular relevance for manufacturers.

"Australian manufacturing can only be strong if it gets a fair go and a level playing field," AAP reports Gillard as saying.

According to the government, dumping complaints have tripled over the last two years.

The opposition accuses the government of lifting its policy on anti-dumping.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott and industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella announced a Coalition taskforce on the issue in February last year and released its policy in November 2011. It included measures such as shifting anti-dumping resposibilities to the department of industry, boosting funding and staff for investigators, and strengthening World Trade Organisation provisions.

Unions including the AMWU and AWU have spoken in favour of the announcement today.

Paul Howes from the AWU said that numerous manufacturers had been hurt by being unable to compete on a level playing field.

“We’ve seen this across many of Australia’s key manufacturing industries – including aluminium, steel, glass and cement,” he said in a statement, mentioning the union’s lobbying on the issue in its Don’t Dump On Australia campaign.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work by AWU members to get this issue onto the national agenda.”

The Australian Industry Group was similarly positive, saying it has wanted action taken against predatory import pricing for some time.

Inness Willox, the AIG’s CEO and a member of the PM taskforce on manufacturing, said the commission’s announcement was a win.

"The measures build on the recommendations of the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Manufacturing and will ensure that Australia's approach to anti-dumping will be balanced and better resourced while remaining fully compliant with World Trade Organisation rules,” he said.


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