Economy

Apr 26, 2018

Productivity Commission lashes out at protectionism and security stupidity

The Productivity Commission and its chairman Peter Harris have gone hunting for political sacred cows again, slamming protectionism, national security spending and handouts to business.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The head of the Productivity Commission has accused policymakers of "reaching for the industry assistance jar at the first sniff of cannon fire in President Trump’s trade war", as the Commission adds national security spending in its annual hitlist of policy failures.

In a little-reported speech on Tuesday, ahead of today's release of the Commission's annual Trade and Assistance Review, chairman Peter Harris, who finishes his term later this year, renewed his criticism of the protectionist strain in Australia's politicians. Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs, Harris noted, meant

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “Productivity Commission lashes out at protectionism and security stupidity

  1. Dog's Breakfast

    I’d bet my bottom dollar that the greatest protection rackets by far are the built-in properties of almost all our ‘Free-Trade’ (cough) Agreements.

    ISDS provisions are anti- free trade, as are all copyright provisions by definition. Rules that embed and enlarge copyright provisions almost universally favour of huge american companies, (housed and licensed offshore, of course).

    Those protection racket makes steel tariffs look small beer indeed. Go after the big fish Bernard.

  2. AR

    Have the banks, inter alia, ever been referred to the Productivity Commission?
    Just curious how a dispassionate, if dead eyed, civil servant would view the financial shenanigans on show at the RC.

  3. old greybearded one

    Bernard, when it comes to agriculture you have no bloody idea and never have. Sorry mate, but how do YOU propose we deal with US fruit picked by illegal migrants as it has been since the 1930s, who are paid bugger all, coming into our shops at a price which no one paying legal wages can match?

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