Update 14 May
What is This Anti-Dumping Thing?
It’s got nothing to do with the tip, and it’s not a new dating law. You’ll hear about it more in international trade circles.
China recently did two things in trading with Australia.
- First, they placed an 80% anti-dumping tax on our barley exports into China. (Barley is mostly used for beer and animal feed) Anti-dumping tax, I have learned, is a tariff that a government adds onto foreign imports when it believes the price offered is below market value. It’s when the company is charging its home market a higher price than the overseas buyer. The issue: those low prices can undercut the importing government’s markets, damaging their local economy.
- Secondly, on Monday (11 May) China stopped beef imports from 4 major meat suppliers in Australia, reportedly due to violations of customs and quarantine standards.
There seem to be two interpretations of these actions within Australia.
- One view is that China’s timing suggests a pushback because of Australia insisting on an independent coronavirus enquiry. This, it is thought, could be a low-risk threat by China, as the dumping allegation apparently doesn’t hold much merit.
- The second view, which is what ScoMo said on Tuesday, is that the anti-dumping trade issue started 18 months ago and is not linked to coronavirus concerns. From a bit more digging I learned that Australia imposes up to 144% tax on China’s steel imports. Today ScoMo said the trade negotiation will continue via normal channels, and “… Australia will do the right thing when it comes to respecting other countries’ laws.”
As for the beef export issue, which could have implications for Australian farmers, talks with Beijing are being set up by the Trade Minister, Simon Birmingham.
What Do We Do With Overcrowded Prisons in a Pandemic?
Prison is meant to limit freedom, but which human rights are protected? Prisoners, especially substance-abusing, sick prisoners are at a major disadvantage if COVID-19 enters an overcrowded prison.
Here’s what the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggested:
- If people don’t absolutely have to be imprisoned, release them. We’re not talking about letting unrepentant murderers back into society. We’re talking about people in detention for substance abuse, or for minor, non-violent offences, especially women and kids. Let ‘em out. In fact, WHO suggests closing those types of detention centres – research shows they don’t do much good in reform anyway.
- Give everything a good clean and keep it that way.
- If prisoners are sick, make sure they keep getting their usual treatments.
As for human rights – security and health are the biggies. So if there is a COVID-19 outbreak in a prison, prisoners should be monitored and treated like anyone else, making sure public health authorities are aware.
Zoning back in on Australia….
Could JobKeeper Be Taken Away in the Upcoming June Review?
This question keeps knocking about. Both the Minister for Finance and ScoMo have been clear that it will remain in place for the six months. ScoMo and the Treasurer clarified today that the review is necessary because the scheme was put into place in record-breaking time.
Although JobKeeper was carefully designed, some anomalies and issues would be expected because of the speed at which it was implemented. The June review will look at these, and the experience of it ‘on the ground’ and make any amendments needed.
Because of JobKeeper, the forecast peak of unemployment in Australia will be reduced from 15% to 10%. That’s a big difference in numbers of people. JobKeeper is providing an essential lifeline for, as of today, over 6 million Australians, holding employers and employees together as we build a bridge towards economic recovery.
Interested in how each of the states and territories are travelling with their Steps towards easing restrictions?
In the lead, easing into Step 2 already:
- Western Australia (although they’re talking about their eastern borders remaining closed for 6 months. Hmmm.)
- Northern Territory started their version of Step 1 on 1 May, and will be easing into their Step 2 tomorrow.
Step 1 Has Started in:
- Australian Capital Territory
- South Australia
- Victoria – but still with the message to stay at home if you can, and only close friends and family should visit.
- Queensland – with extra relaxation for those in the outback
Step 1 is About to Start in:
- New South Wales – tomorrow. School news: Phase 1 of four phases to return children to their classrooms, began on Monday. All grades currently attend school on one day a week.
- Tasmania will ease further restrictions from 18 May, but with more limited travel. School news: selected school grades are returning to classrooms from 25 May.
The Stats for Australia
- There have been 6,989 cases of COVID-19 in Australia
- Sadly, 98 people have died.
- 6,301 people have recovered
- 18 people are in ICU
Hope Over Fear
It IS Rocket Science
Our very own NASA. But it doesn’t look nearly as glamorous in a Gold Coast business shed.
Maybe I’m not getting the whole picture here but, wow, I discovered today that just down the highway from me there are space rockets being launched. Yes, Gilmour Space Technologies is going to be partnering with the Defence Force to develop rocket technology.
(So their day job is like… go out onto fields to see if the latest rocket works?)
Here’s why it’s good news. Today we heard from ScoMo that 600,000 Australians have lost their jobs. And the big mission now is to get people back into jobs. But of course, there have to BE jobs to get back to.
Well, Gilmour Space Technologies estimates that they’ll be creating around 500 jobs over the next 3 years with this new project. That will be very good news for about 500 people.
Your Tip for Today
If you’re a health worker, you may be interested in having tons of useful COVID-19 information at your fingertips.
WHO Academy Launched an Information App for Health Workers
In a survey in March interviewing 20,000 health workers around the globe, the vast majority asked for accessible virtual learning.
So…..yesterday, WHO launched a mobile app with resources, tools, training, workshops and up-to-the-minute guidance on helping patients with COVID-19.
And it’s free.
You’ll find it in all the usual app stores as ‘WHO Academy’.
What About You?
- Tell me you learned about anti-dumping today? Did you? You heard it first from me. We’re learning buddies.
- Would you take a job launching rockets into space?
- Have you downloaded the COVIDSafe app?
I’d love to hear your stories.
Prime Minister’s Press Conference – 14 May 2020
WHO – Deprivation of Liberty – 13 May
WHO Academy app – 13 May
Finance Minister on JobKeeper – 13 May 2020 Finance Minister
ACT Govt – Step 1 in place – 12 May
Northern Territory Govt Roadmap
QLD Govt – Step 1 begins (8 May)
Western Australia Govt – coronavirus update 11 May
Tasmania Govt – coronavirus update 9 May
ABC News – Gold Coast Rocket Scientists – 14 May 2020