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Trade and Assistance Review 2000-01

Annual report series

Trade and Assistance Review 2000-01 was released on 21 December 2001. The Productivity Commission is required to report annually on industry assistance and its effects on the economy.

This review of trade and assistance issues and developments over the past year contains the Commission's latest estimates of assistance to the manufacturing, agriculture and mining sectors. It also presents estimates of barriers to trade in selected services for Australia and its trading partners. And it discusses some recent international policy developments affecting Australia's trade and economic prospects.

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  • Media release
  • Contents

A report released by the Productivity Commission provides the latest estimates of Commonwealth assistance to industry. It shows that there has been a further slight reduction in assistance to manufacturing and agriculture, continuing the trend of the past decade. However, pockets of high assistance remain.

The report — Trade and Assistance Review 2000-01 — shows that most Australian industries now receive relatively low government assistance by historical standards. Effective rates of tariff assistance currently average just under 5 per cent for manufacturing (and remain negative for mining), while the effective rate of assistance for most agricultural industries is 2 per cent or less.

Budgetary assistance (tax concessions, grants etc) has risen slightly in recent years, however, amounting to $3.7 billion in 2000-01. This includes assistance to service industries, some of which also benefit from regulatory restrictions on trade.

The principal exceptions to the low prevailing rates of assistance remain textiles, clothing and footwear and the passenger motor vehicles industries, with effective rates of assistance several times higher than for the rest of manufacturing. The dairy industry also continues to receive relatively high levels of support under the Commonwealth adjustment package, totalling around $200 million in 2000-01.

The report also comments on the launch of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha recently. Aspects of the forthcoming negotiations proffer benefits for Australia. However, the Commission cautions that the ambitious scope of the agenda, uncertainties surrounding some of the language in the declaration and the political considerations that can influence trade negotiations mean that the extent to which these gains are realised cannot readily be foreseen.

  • Preliminaries
    Cover, Copyright, Foreword, Contents, Abbreviations
  • Overview
  • Chapter 1 Introduction
  • Chapter 2 Manufacturing, agriculture and mining
    2.1 Production and trade: a snapshot
    2.2 Scope of the Commission's assistance estimates
    2.3 Assistance to manufacturing
    2.4 Assistance to agriculture
    2.5 Assistance to mining
    2.6 Anti-dumping and countervailing activity
  • Chapter 3 Services
    3.1 Production and trade: a snapshot
    3.2 Estimates of regulatory restrictions on selected services
    3.3 Budgetary assistance to Australian services
  • Chapter 4 Budgetary assistance
    4.1 Scope of the Commission's estimates
    4.2 Commonwealth budgetary assistance
    4.3 Recent developments
  • Chapter 5 Trade policy developments
    5.1 Multilateral trade negotiations
    5.2 Regional trading agreements
  • References

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