In the old days there was what you might call vanilla protectionism: old-fashioned tariff walls and import quotas designed to shield local industries from cheaper, better products. Then there was new protectionism: fewer tariffs and trade barriers, but far more taxpayer handouts to industries to keep them operating here. And while vanilla protectionism was killed off for the most part, new protectionism survived well into the 2010s, primarily in the automotive industry, until the Abbott government correctly cut off the flow of handouts to multinationals.

Recently, new protectionism has revived in Australia, in the bipartisan push for an expanded defence industry. Except, it's more accurately called dumb protectionism, because it's massively more expensive than automotive industry subsidies: the cost per job of paying 30-40% more to build major naval construction projects locally runs from $100,000 per job to over $1 million per job. That compares to, according to the Productivity Commission, around $18,000 per job for automotive assistance, and represents "a major step back from the historical reduction in using government procurement preference as industry policy."