Customs Amendment (Anti-dumping Improvements) Bill (No. 2) 2011

Mr CLARE (Blaxland—Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice) (19:50): I thank all members for their contributions to this important debate. The Customs Amendment (Anti-dumping Improvements) Bill (No. 2) 2011 is very important legislation. It deals with dumping, and dumping is cheating. It gives the companies that do it an unfair advantage and it is contrary to the principles of free and fair trade. That is why the government is delivering a series of reforms to improve the operation of Australia’s antidumping system. Last year we passed the first tranche of legislation. This bill is the second and I will soon bring forward a third.

These reforms are based on the advice of Australian industry, Australian unions and their respective peak organisations. They improve the application and appeals process and, importantly, they comply with Australia’s obligations to the World Trade Organisation. Together, the reforms we are undertaking will form the most important improvements to Australia’s antidumping regime in more than a decade and will improve the antidumping system’s effectiveness. The reforms in this bill establish a new appeals process to replace the existing appeals mechanism in legislation. The bill establishes the International Trade Remedies Forum and it allows for multiple extensions to time frames for investigations, reviews of measures, continuation inquiries or duty assessments to accommodate more complex matters or new information. These changes will improve the way we administer global antidumping rules in Australia and better align our laws and practices with those of other countries. Australia is a strong advocate and supporter of open trade. We are a trading nation. Last year our exports were more than $313 billion. International trade relies on rules. All WTO member countries have the right to take action against unfair trading practices. So it is important that these reforms meet our WTO obligations and they do that.

As I said, this is the second tranche of our antidumping reforms. There are more to come. To this end I am working not only with the Customs and Border Protection Service but also with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Workers Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and other key stakeholders in this area to bring forward the next tranche of antidumping legislation in the autumn session.

Once again, I thank all members for their interest in this matter and for their support. I commend the bill to the House.

Bill read a second time.