(Image: Unsplash/Kyle Ryan)

After several years of  warnings from the Productivity Commission on the enormous problems caused by Australia's abuse of anti-dumping to prop up inefficient industries, some sections of the media have finally worked out it's a problem.

It's almost as if Australians haven't been able to quite believe we're not the innocent, plucky little free traders and honest brokers in a corrupt world trade system that we tell ourselves we are. It turns out we're one of the bad guys -- along with everyone else.

And now we know that years spent slapping punitive tariffs on imports using confected claims that products have been "dumped" doesn't just have a downside for Australian business and consumers who have to pay more for products, it also prompts the targets of our protectionism to hit back under both anti-dumping and other protectionist counter-measures.