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Rudd rejects unions buy Australian campaign

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has rejected union demands for a “Buy Australian” policy.

Union demands for the government to favour local companies in procurement, as part of their “Buy Australian” campaign to save the manufacturing industry has been rebuffed by Rudd, warning that such protectionist measures triggered the Great Depression.

Unions want the government to ensure local companies get fair access to government contracts, particularly those involved in taxpayer-funded economic stimulus spending, through such means as giving them a 20 percent price advantage over foreign competitors.

But Rudd made it clear yesterday that he would not support the campaign.

“We need to avoid any form of protectionist measure which invites retaliatory protectionist measures from economies around the world, and that’s what would happen.”

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