KEVIN HOGAN MP
Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism
Federal Member for Page
Tuesday, 15 August 2023
Labor set to return to ugly protectionism with carbon border tax
The implementation of a carbon border tax on imports of cement and steel from key trading partners is a return to protectionism and will add to cost-of-living pressures on Australians, the Hon Kevin Hogan MP, Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism said today.
The Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, on behalf of the Albanese Labor Government and the unions has confirmed today in his speech to a meeting of Australian Business Economists that the Albanese Labor Government will look to introduce a carbon border adjustment tax on imports of cement and steel from countries such as China, India, and Vietnam.
“This decision sees the ugly return of protectionism to Australian shores. It also highlights Labor’s love affair with carbon taxes,” Mr Hogan said.
“Labor’s carbon border tax will do nothing but lift the cost of importing products for manufacturing and housing at a time when this Government should be doing everything to reduce costs.
“Australia must remain a beacon for open and free trade but instead Labor is setting Australia up with a tax that could breach World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
“An Australian carbon border tax also risks undermining our important trade relationships with key partners and spiking a tit-for-tat tariff war that we have seen to disastrous effect elsewhere in the world.
“As the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in January this year, “a carbon border adjustment mechanism is simply a punitive tax on imported goods that will do little to incentivise investment in low-emissions technology or increase the competitiveness of Australian industry.”
“The flow through effect of such a tax will be increased costs to consumers which will impact the most vulnerable in our society.
“At the same time, it will have no net global impact on emissions. It is nothing but a tax for a tax sake.
“Labor is continuing to take a wrecking ball to sensible trade policy and at the same time, increase taxes on Australians rather than take practical and affordable solutions to emissions reduction.”
Media contact: Kevin Hogan – 0428 291 307 or Alison Penfold – 0408 633 026