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Productivity Commission finds emergency import safeguards not warranted

Editorial
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Accelerated reports compiled by the Productivity Commission have found that a request by Australian food manufacturers to instil emergency safeguard measures against cheap imported processed fruit and tomato products is not warranted.

The accelerated reports; Safeguards Inquiry into the Import of Processed Fruit Products and Safeguards Inquiry into the Import Processed Tomato Products, are part of a wider inquiry which includes two six-month inquiries into whether the Australian food processing industry will need World Trade Organisation safeguards including the introduction of specific tariffs to protect local industry, The Weekly Times Now reports.

The inquiries were prompted by a push from food processor SPC Ardmona who claimed that a significant increase in cheap imported canned fruit and tomatoes had resulted in an uneven playing field.

SPC Ardmona had recently given into pressure from cheap imported fruit products, resulting in the cutting of supplies from over 170 growers in the Goulburn Valley region.

The commission will continue to report on whether WTO safeguards are warranted with the final reports expected to be finalised by 20 December 2013. 

photo credit: Muffet via photopin cc

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