Chinese Barley Tariffs

May 26, 2020

Q. Last week the Chinese government imposed tariffs on Australian barley exports, costing farmers millions of dollars through lost revenue. To what extent do you agree or disagree about the following statements about international trade with China?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree, nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
The Australian government needs to stand up to the Chinese Government and demand an open inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 66% 9% 44% 22% 14% 5% 4% 11%
The Chinese government imposed the tariffs in response to Australia leading calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 57% 15% 36% 20% 16% 7% 7% 13%
The Australian government needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China 53% 17% 28% 25% 19% 11% 7% 11%
Australia should impose tariffs on imports from China in retaliation 48% 22% 27% 21% 19% 14% 7% 12%
Australia should work towards an agreement with China to remove the tariffs on barley, whatever the conditions 47% 23% 20% 27% 19% 12% 11% 11%

 

NET: Agree   Age Group Age Group
Total 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor NET: Coalition Greens NET: Other
The Australian government needs to stand up to the Chinese Government and demand an open inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 66% 52% 66% 78% 60% 76% 59% 69%
The Chinese government imposed the tariffs in response to Australia leading calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 57% 46% 57% 65% 59% 66% 47% 52%
The Australian government needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China 53% 49% 51% 57% 58% 57% 52% 36%
Australia should impose tariffs on imports from China in retaliation 48% 39% 50% 53% 46% 54% 42% 52%
Australia should work towards an agreement with China to remove the tariffs on barley, whatever the conditions 47% 38% 48% 54% 51% 52% 42% 35%
Base (n) 1,087 341 364 382 323 428 100 120
  • Two-thirds (66%) of participants agree the Australian government needs to stand up to the Chinese Government and demand an open inquiry into the origins of Covid-19.
  • More than half of participants agree the Chinese government imposed the tariffs in response to Australia leading calls for an independent inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 (57%) or the Australian government needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China (53%).
  • Less than half of participants agree that Australia should impose tariffs on imports from China in retaliation (48%) or Australia should work towards an agreement with China to remove the tariffs on barley, whatever the conditions (47%).
  • Coalition voters are most likely to agree that the government needs to stand up to the Chinese Government and demand an open inquiry into the origins of Covid-19 (76%); while Labor (60%) and Greens (59%) voters are less likely to agree.

High Dollar Sings The Blues For Auto Workers

Aug 14, 2012

What do auto workers in Canada and Australia have in common? A high dollar spells bad news for jobs—and, absent government action, is another dagger in the struggle to maintain a middle-class living.

Let’s start with Canada, where auto workers are locked in difficult contract negotiations. The main reason? The stronger Canadian dollar:

But the dollar’s high value, which most economists anticipate will continue, has more than obliterated the traditional cost advantage Canadian auto plants once enjoyed. In 2009, when contracts were renegotiated after the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler, the Canadian dollar was worth about 78 American cents. Last week, it traded briefly at just over $1.

Regardless of the outcome of those talks, the strong currency, and higher wages for Canadian workers, seem likely to continue the shrinking of the Canadian auto industry since its peak in 1999. The underlying issue is how much that decline will continue.

It’s a similar story with the Australian auto industry. The high Australian dollar, driven largely by the resource industry bubble, has eaten away at the Australian auto industry’s sales. But, the answer to that does not have to be surrender. It requires as Paul Bastian, national secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, pointed out not to long ago, a national strategy of co-investment and a local purchasing strategy:

Co-Investment in the car industry provides supply-side support – but to properly realise the benefits of the Australian car industry we need to do more on the demand side.

In short, the co-investment scheme must be backed by a plan to buy Australian.

Over the next twenty years federal, state and local governments will purchase around 1.5 million cars. It’s obvious that these cars should all come from Australia – but that’s not the reality.

The bottom line is a question of values that go beyond the price of a dollar and brings one right to the doorstep of the government. Governments can do a lot to bring down the price of its currency. But, absent that willingness, governments can make it a national priority to make sure that industries providing good-paying jobs continue to thrive—no matter what the agenda of lower-wage seeking corporations might be.


@jonathantasini

International Trade

Nov 28, 2011

Q. Should another country’s political system and human rights record influence Australia’s trade with that country or should we trade with any country regardless of their political system or human rights record?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Political system and human rights record should influence trade 66% 71% 64% 83%
Should trade with any country 18% 18% 24% 9%
Don’t know 16% 11% 13% 7%

66% believe that another country’s political system and human rights record should influence Australia’s trade with that country and 18% think we should trade with any country regardless of their political system or human rights record.

The position that political system and human rights record should influence trade was supported by 75% of women and 57% of men.

Comments »

Exporting Uranium to India

Nov 21, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the proposal for Australia to export uranium to India?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 30% 31% 35% 17%
Total oppose 45% 40% 47% 66%
Strongly support 7% 6% 10% 1%
Support 23% 25% 25% 16%
Oppose 24% 25% 25% 30%
Strongly oppose 21% 15% 22% 36%
Don’t know 25% 28% 17% 17%

30% support the proposal for Australia to export uranium to India and 45% oppose – 25% had no opinion. All voter groups were more likely to oppose the sale of uranium to India.

All age groups were more likely to oppose the proposal – and men were split 43% support to 41% oppose, compared to women 18% support/49% oppose.

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