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Government decision to allow ‘dumping’ gets balance right

I read with interest BusinessNZ’s press release on the government’s decision on anti-dumping. With some minor re-wordings, it could be my press release. Just change where they say “bad” to my saying “good”. Little things. It would look something like this.

Government decision to allow ‘dumping’ gets balance right

The New Zealand Initiative celebrates the Government’s decision to allow foreign firms to sell goods to the benefit of New Zealand consumers, via a new public interest test.

Head of Research, Dr. Eric Crampton says New Zealand consumers should enjoy the benefits of free trade. “We want a vibrant competitive economy. If foreign firms are able to supply goods to the New Zealand market at a lower cost to consumers than are their domestic competitors, New Zealand firms should focus on areas where they have a comparative advantage.”

“It sends the right signal to domestic manufacturers if foreign firms can ship their goods half-way around the world and still deliver them to New Zealand consumers at less than the local cost of production.”

“New Zealand has among the lowest tariffs for manufactured goods in the world. We don’t indulge in the various subsidies and government support schemes that can be found in other countries. Why should we support often-protectionist anti-dumping legislation?”

“Anti-dumping cases can be used to block imports that keep prices down. There are many good reasons for sometimes selling goods below their cost of production. Sometimes, it can be the only way of clearing excess supplies. End-of-line sales in anticipation of a new year’s product also can sell below production cost.”

“And, really, if some other country wants to provide us goods for less than it cost them to produce the goods, and if we value the goods, why should we force New Zealand consumers to miss out? In the middle of the Christchurch rebuild, we were paying punitive anti-dumping tariffs on building materials; it took special measures to suspend them in 2014. The new test would let consumer interests count.”

While BusinessNZ worries, in a recent press release, that “dumped” goods can be of lower quality, the Initiative notes that goods sold in New Zealand are subject to the Consumer Guarantees Act.

Contact: Dr. Eric Crampton
Head of Research, The New Zealand Initiative

There have been recent …issues… about appropriate recognition of satire around here. My release above is lampooning the BusinessNZ one and plagiarises shamelessly from them, with satiric intent. But I stand by the sentiment.

Previously, at Offsetting Behaviour:

About Eric Crampton (88 Articles)
I'm Head of Research with the New Zealand Initiative.

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