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David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 21/06/2013

NO.114

Safeguard inquiries referred to Productivity Commission

Joint Media Release with
The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP
Attorney-General
Minister for Trade and Competitiveness
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy

The Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury and the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness Craig Emerson today announced that the Productivity Commission would undertake separate safeguard inquiries into the impact of imports of processed fruit and tomatoes on Australian producers.

The inquiries follow a request by SPC Ardmona to introduce safeguards measures against imports of canned tomatoes and multi-serve canned fruit products.

SPC Ardmona is one of Australia's largest food processors, employing more than 800 full-time-equivalent staff directly, and makes a substantial contribution to the economy of the Goulburn Valley.

As a World Trade Organization (WTO) Member, Australia has made binding commitments in relation to the trade of goods and services.

The WTO Safeguards Agreement allows Members to investigate whether safeguard measures are justified. Following an investigation by the Productivity Commission, WTO rules allow safeguard measures to be applied to respond to unexpected and unforeseen increases in imports which are causing or threatening to cause serious injury to the domestic industry.

The Productivity Commission is Australia's competent authority to investigate whether safeguard measures are justified under WTO rules.

It will conduct the inquiries in accordance with Australia's safeguards procedures. Australia will notify the WTO and relevant trading partners of these investigations.

As well as investigating whether there are grounds for definitive safeguard measures, the Commission has also been asked to provide an accelerated report examining whether critical circumstances exist to justify provisional safeguard measures.

The Commission is to provide the accelerated report to the Government as soon as practicable and, in any event, within three months.

Mr Paul Barratt AO has been appointed as an Associate Commissioner to the inquiries. Mr Barratt, an independent consultant and Chair of Australia 21 Limited, has more than 40 years' experience in policy advising and international negotiations.

His past appointments include Secretary of Defence and of Primary Industries and Energy; Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Special Trade Representative to North Asia; and Executive Director of the Business Council of Australia.

The Commission will seek expressions of interest from parties wishing to participate in the inquiry. All interested parties are invited to make a submission.

To register an interest in the inquiry or to find out more, details are available from the Commission at www.pc.gov.au. Terms of reference are attached.

21 June 2013


Terms of Reference

Safeguard Inquiry into the Import of Processed Tomato Products
Productivity Commission Act 1998

I, David Bradbury, Assistant Treasurer, pursuant to Parts 2 and 3 of the Productivity Commission Act 1998, hereby request that the Productivity Commission undertake an inquiry into whether safeguard action is warranted against imports of processed tomato products falling within tariff subheading 2002.10.00.60 of the Australian Customs Tariff.

The inquiry is to be undertaken in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) safeguard investigation procedures published in the Gazette of S297 of 25 June 1998, as amended by GN39 of 5 October 2005.

The Commission is to report on:

  • whether conditions are such that safeguard measures would be justified under the WTO Agreement;
  • if so, what measures would be necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury and to facilitate adjustment; and
  • whether, having regard to the Government's requirements for assessing the impact of regulation which affects business, those measures should be implemented.

In undertaking the inquiry, the Commission is to consider and provide an accelerated report on whether critical circumstances exist where delay in applying measures would cause damage which it would be difficult to repair. If such circumstances exist, and pursuant to a preliminary determination that there is clear evidence that increased imports have caused or are threatening to cause serious injury, the Commission is to recommend what provisional safeguard measures (to apply for no more than 200 days) would be appropriate.

The Commission is to provide the accelerated report to the Government as soon as possible but not later than 3 months and a final report within 6 months of receipt of this reference. The reports will be published as soon as practicable.

The Commission is to consult widely, hold hearings and call for submissions for the purpose of the inquiry.

DAVID BRADBURY
Assistant Treasurer


Terms of Reference

Safeguard Inquiry into the Import of Processed Fruit Products
Productivity Commission Act 1998

I, David Bradbury, Assistant Treasurer, pursuant to Parts 2 and 3 of the Productivity Commission Act 1998, hereby request that the Productivity Commission undertake an inquiry into whether safeguard action is warranted against imports of the following processed fruit products of the Australian Customs Tariff:

2008.30.00 Citrus fruit;
2008.40.00 Pears;
2008.50.00 Apricots;
2008.70.00 Peaches, including nectarines;
2008.97.00 Mixtures;
2008.99.00 Other.

The inquiry is to be undertaken in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) safeguard investigation procedures published in the Gazette of S297 of 25 June 1998, as amended by GN39 of 5 October 2005.

The Commission is to report on:

  • whether conditions are such that safeguard measures would be justified under the WTO Agreement;
  • if so, what measures would be necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury and to facilitate adjustment; and
  • whether, having regard to the Government's requirements for assessing the impact of regulation which affects business, those measures should be implemented.

In undertaking the inquiry, the Commission is to consider and provide an accelerated report on whether critical circumstances exist where delay in applying measures would cause damage which it would be difficult to repair. If such circumstances exist, and pursuant to a preliminary determination that there is clear evidence that increased imports have caused or are threatening to cause serious injury, the Commission is to recommend what provisional safeguard measures (to apply for no more than 200 days) would be appropriate.

The Commission is to provide the accelerated report to the Government as soon as possible but not later than 3 months and a final report within 6 months of receipt of this reference. The reports will be published as soon as practicable.

The Commission is to consult widely, hold hearings and call for submissions for the purpose of the inquiry.

DAVID BRADBURY
Assistant Treasurer