Skip to Content

Australia's Anti-dumping and Countervailing System

Inquiry report

This inquiry report was released on 27 May 2010. The Commission thanks all those who contributed to the inquiry.

Download the report

  • Key points
  • Contents
  • The Australian anti-dumping system, which is based on agreed WTO rules and procedures, benefits a small number of import competing firms, but imposes greater costs on the rest of the economy.
  • However, this net economic cost is likely to be very small. And the ability for Australian industries, like those in most other countries, to use the system to address what are perceived by many to be 'unfair' trading practices, may have lessened resistance to more significant tariff reforms.
  • This 'political economy' argument for retaining the system would be strengthened by changes to address a number of deficiencies in the current arrangements which can add to the costs for the community. In particular:
    • there is no consideration of the wider economic impacts of anti-dumping measures
    • measures can too easily become akin to long-term protection, or outdated in the face of changing market circumstances
    • decision-making and its outcomes are not sufficiently transparent.
  • Introduction of a 'bounded' public interest test, drawing on similar provisions overseas, would be a practical means to take account of wider impacts and prevent the imposition of measures that would be disproportionately costly.
    • The test would embody a presumption in favour of measures where there has been injurious dumping or subsidisation.
    • But it would also detail a small number of specific circumstances where measures would not be in the public interest - for example, where they would be ineffectual in removing injury; or would impose large costs on downstream users relative to the benefits for the applicant industry.
    • Customs would have to complete assessments against the test within 30 days, and then advise the Minister on whether any of these circumstances applied.
  • Other changes that should be made to the current arrangements to achieve a better balance between benefits and costs include:
    • allowing only one three-year extension of measures after the initial five-year term
    • providing for annual adjustments to the magnitude of all measures
    • aligning Australia's list of actionable subsidies with the WTO lists
    • increasing the robustness of the appeals process
    • imposing a time limit on decisions by the Minister
    • enhancing public reporting on the basis for decisions and their outcomes.
  • To provide stakeholders with time to adjust, there should be a two-year delay before the public interest test and changed continuation requirements take effect. The new arrangements should be reviewed five years after that.
  • Preliminaries
    • Cover, Copyright, Opportunity for further comment, Terms of reference, Contents, Abbreviations and explanations
  • Overview - including key points
  • Recommendations
  • Chapter 1 About the inquiry
    • 1.1 The Commission's terms of reference
    • 1.2 The Commission's approach
    • 1.3 A road map to the rest of the report
  • Chapter 2 The current anti-dumping system
    • 2.1 Overview of Australia's anti-dumping system
    • 2.2 How the anti-dumping system works
    • 2.3 Key concepts and definitions
    • 2.4 Related policies
    • 2.5 The international context
  • Chapter 3 Recent anti-dumping and countervailing activity
    • 3.1 Recent usage of the system
    • 3.2 Nature and form of measures
    • 3.3 Product and country incidence
    • 3.4 Magnitude of support
    • 3.5 Global perspective
  • Chapter 4 Should Australia retain an anti-dumping system?
    • 4.1 The benefits and costs of anti-dumping measures
    • 4.2 What is the net impact on resource use efficiency?
    • 4.3 Political economy considerations
    • 4.4 A modified system should be retained
    • 4.5 Deficiencies in the current system
  • Chapter 5 Refocussing the broad approach
    • 5.1 Promoting the public interest should be the goal
    • 5.2 A public interest test
    • 5.3 Increasing the stringency of the current criteria
    • 5.4 Public reporting of wider impacts
    • 5.5 The Commission's preferred approach
  • Chapter 6 Supporting framework changes
    • 6.1 How much additional change is warranted?
    • 6.2 Initiation requirements
    • 6.3 Normal value calculations
    • 6.4 Material injury and causality
    • 6.5 Provisional measures
    • 6.6 Duration of measures and continuation arrangements
    • 6.7 Maintaining the currency of measures
    • 6.8 Countervailing issues
  • Chapter 7 Administration of the system and implementation arrangements
    • 7.1 Decision-making responsibilities
    • 7.2 The configuration of the appeals mechanism
    • 7.3 Timeliness and resourcing issues
    • 7.4 Increasing transparency
    • 7.5 Information issues
    • 7.6 Implementation and review of the new arrangements
  • Appendix A Inquiry processes and consultation
  • Appendix B A brief history of Australian anti-dumping policy
  • Appendix C Anti-dumping in a global context
  • Appendix D Could anti-dumping protection improve efficiency?
  • Appendix E The competition law alternative
  • References

Printed copies

Printed copies of the full report can be purchased from Canprint Communications.

Publications feedback

We value your comments about this publication and encourage you to complete and submit the publications feedback form.