Originally published in On Line Opinion on July 16, 2013

Australia used to have very high protection rates for its manufacturing industries. Historically tariff quotas on motor vehicles meant that Australian car prices were double the prices for equivalents overseas.

Many other manufactured goods were sold at multiples of the prices in overseas markets. Australia like many other countries imposed very high tariffs on most imported consumer goods.

The end of high tariffs under the Hawke/Keating Government meant that, in principle, Australians now pay pretty well the world market price for most goods.

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