Tariffs, Then and Now: Lecture in Honour of the Late Bert Kelly
Australian Economic Review, 1997, vol. 30, issue 2, 144-154
While much of the Australian trade liberalisation for which Bert Kelly fought has been achieved, there are still areas of highly selective protection, particularly in textiles, clothing, footwear and passenger motor vehicles. An analysis is made of arguments for continued assistance which are advanced in some quarters: that Australia should not reduce its barriers unless other countries also do so and that we are ‘leading the pack’; that frontier barriers should not be reduced unless microeconomic reform in Australia is acccelerated; that because other countries may exclude automobiles from their APEC commitments, so should Australia; that small tariffs don’t matter; and that local pain overshadows national gain. Bert Kelly would have found many of the arguments all too familiar.
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