Monthly Archives: May 2019

Indonesia files complaint against China in World Trade Organisation

Jakarta: Indonesia has complained to the World Trade Organisation over a protectionist tariff imposed by on paper imports, in a move that could overshadow the last months of sensitive free-trade negotiations.
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The latest salvo comes as the Indonesian government also expressed its “deep concern” after launched an investigation into the alleged dumping of steel rods exported from Indonesia.

The leaders of Indonesia and have committed to reaching a free-trade deal by the end of the year.

However, announced in April that it would impose dumping duties on A4 paper exported from Indonesia and three other countries in a crackdown on “unfair dumping into the n market”.

A dumping duty is a protectionist tariff imposed on foreign imports priced below their normal value in the country of export.

The decision was celebrated at the Maryvale mill of n Paper – ‘s sole copy paper manufacturer – where jobs had been at risk from cheap imports.

But on September 1, Indonesia filed a complaint claiming that ‘s actions appeared to be inconsistent with provisions under the World Trade Organisation’s Anti-Dumping Agreement regarding the determination of dumping.

Director of Trade Defence Pradnyawati said the anti-dumping measures were based on allegations by the n Anti-Dumping Commission that Indonesia’s ban on the export of timber logs had distorted the price of A4 copy paper.

The commission found exports of paper from Indonesia were dumped with margins of up to 38.6 per cent.

“The Indonesian government has pursued diplomatic approaches by explaining to the n government that the policy does not cause price distortion, however, it did not affect the course of investigation and decision on imposition of anti-dumping duties,” Ms Pradnyawati told Fairfax Media.

“Therefore, the government of Indonesia decided to raise this issue as a dispute case in the World Trade Organisation.”

Indonesia’s “request for consultations”, the first step in a trade dispute, gives 60 days to settle the issue. After that period, Indonesia could ask the WTO to adjudicate.

Indonesia’s chief trade negotiator, Deddy Saleh, said the A4 paper case would not affect the negotiation of the free-trade deal, known as the Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

But he said if Indonesia’s complaint were successful, ” should no longer make accusations without strong foundation”.

“Because if it is continuously done it will obviously disturb the trust of the Indonesian business sector and government so that IA-CEPA won’t be easily implemented.”

A spokesman for Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said the government had made clear to Indonesia the independence of ‘s anti-dumping system and processes.

He said the Anti-Dumping Review Panel was undertaking a domestic review of the paper dumping duties.

“The government understands the panel has just instructed the Anti-Dumping Commission to re-investigate,” the spokesman said.

Indonesia and three other tobacco-producing countries have also appealed against ‘s world-first cigarette plain packaging laws to the World Trade Organisation, arguing they created an illegal trade barrier.

The final ruling is yet to be made but Bloomberg reported in May that a leaked draft report found ‘s laws were a legitimate public health measure.

With Karuni Rompies

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Deuces high: David Simon turns the clock back to the sexual revolution of the ’70s

In the hectic world of the HBO drama The Deuce, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Candy Merrell stands as a woman ahead of her time: a working girl who isn’t defined by the world in which she finds herself, but by the world she hopes to build for herself and her child.
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“It’s become clear to all of us that we live in a world that’s full of misogyny, [and] that I think we thought we had moved further than we have,” she says. “So playing a prostitute who ultimately gets involved in pornography is a very interesting perspective from which to explore women and our relationship to power, to art, to money, to sex.

“Candy says it explicitly in the first episode, she says, this is my job, this is not the entirety of who I am. You see her intellectual life, you deeply see her artistic life, you see her sexual life, you see her as a mum, you see her as a daughter. You see her as a full person.”

The Deuce, the story of how the mob, massage parlours and the emerging porn industry intersected in New York in the early 1970s, also stars James Franco, as twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino, who become proxies for the mob in Times Square.

Created by David Simon and his long-time collaborator George Pelecanos, the series can trace its origin to an earlier project, Treme, which was filmed in New Orleans. A colleague at that time told them the story of man in New York he knew who had lived through the events now fictionalised in The Deuce.

“We heard that and we thought, ‘we don’t want to do a porn show’,” Simon says, laughing. “We went up to New York for some editing on [Treme] and we met this guy and he started telling us stories. Three hours later George and I walked out of the meeting and we said, we are going to have to do a porn show because the stories were so compelling.”

The story of The Deuce pivots on the legal system’s inability – or unwillingness – to quantify what pornography was, Simon says.

“There’s a moment where the rules changed, so one moment you weren’t allowed to do things and then the next moment you were,” he says. “And the money and the human beings arrayed themselves around that new truth.

“Was the country ready for that kind of libertarian notion of we are not going to judge this anymore? Apparently, because we did it and this is what the courts felt comfortable saying in 1972 that they never would have felt comfortable in 1952. But that was the moment.”

It is, he adds, a powerful statement on “free market capitalism”.

For Gyllenhaal, the series tells a feminist story though that might not be immediately apparent.

She says it offers a chance to reflect on how women “have to twist themselves in order to feed themselves the things they need to stay alive intellectually, artistically, sexually, whatever, emotionally”.

Initially, the series’ depiction of sexuality is transactional, Gyllenhaal says. “For the first episodes most of the sex you see is performance, you see people going, I’m going to dress like this because I need to make this much money tonight and if I wear these clothes, more people are going to pick me up.

“Then you get to see a different kind of sex, sex that’s about female desire. And all of a sudden [it] shifts all the other sex you saw into relief. We’re so used to seeing sex portrayed on TV and in bad TV and bad movies. Here, in the middle of the piece, you have the bottom drop out.”

For Gyllenhaal the appeal of Candy was that she lives “in the dark side, and I think I’m interested in the dark side”, she says. “But also I think when you’re playing someone who’s just keeping their head above water, which is true for Candy, you don’t have the luxury to feel sad and sorry for yourself, those are middle-class problems.

“When you are just surviving, you have to be an optimist and so there’s a brightness about her and just reaching for the next rung, that was nice to play. I felt empowered by playing someone who was so comfortable with her sexuality. It was really fun. I felt inspired by that.”

Securing Franco’s services followed a slightly unconventional route, Simon says, noting that he and Franco essentially came to a verbal agreement, outside of the traditional machinery of agents, lawyers and managers.

“I was one of the biggest fans of The Wire, I met David and we were talking about Show Me a Hero,” Franco says. “I couldn’t do that because of scheduling but I was like, do you have anything in the pipeline you might do in a year or two and he said, ‘well, I got this show about the old 42nd Street and the dawn of pornography’.”

At that point, Simon had no plan to proceed with The Deuce and Franco, some time later, found himself reading Difficult Men, Brett Martin’s book about television showrunners, which included a section on Simon. His interest in working in television, generally, and with Simon, specifically, was rekindled.

“I was so drawn to this new kind of design of television shows,” Franco says.

So he called Simon. “I was like, I’m in,” Franco says. “That show about 42nd Street, how do we do it? We had to go shoot a pilot because HBO had Vinyl, another show about New York in the ’70s. We shot it and it was great and they picked us up.”

The series does not use overt signalling to differentiate between the two brothers.

“These are identical twins and they don’t have the exact same style but they look pretty similar,” Franco says.

“To differentiate them, it came down to behaviour and energy and how they speak and that kind of thing. Frankie’s a much more kind of swinging dude, he’s a degenerate gambler, he’s a bit of a ladies’ man, and he doesn’t take responsibility for anything. Vincent is the responsible one.”

Franco also directed two episodes, noting that the scripts were densely packed with detail. “These guys [Simon and co-writer Pelecanos], they come from journalism and writing, if there’s one thing they know how to do, it’s research,” he says.

“There was plenty of material that they just gave me that I could read and look at, but more than that, I had already done a lot of the research, watching my favourite movies from the ’70s, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Serpico,Dog Day Afternoon and The French Connection.”

The era depicted in the series is, in relative terms, a somewhat innocent time, Franco says.

“Of course, there was exploitation and all this stuff happening but compared to where porn went and a lot of things that are happening in pornography now, it was in some ways a lot more innocent,” he says. “They were trying to tell stories. There were actually porn films that had artistic aspirations.”

One of the episodes Franco directed deals with a groundbreaking piece of gay cinema, Boys in the Sand, a pornographic film notable because it was considered legitimate enough to be reviewed in the Hollywood trade newspaper, Variety.

“They were trying to do something there more than just titillate,” Franco says. “They were trying to do something artsy. The period we’re depicting and the films, a lot of the films, or some of the films that they were making at that time were very different than what you’ll find nowadays streaming online.”

The drawcard for fans of Simon’s work, Franco says, is that The Deuce takes on an almost Dickensian examination of its world and the people who inhabit it.

“Now, I think David Simon’s porn is political corruption, that’s what gets him off,” Franco says. “[But] here we’ve got characters on all levels of society and that’s what’s exciting.

“I think that was one of the most exciting things about The Wire. You’re looking at the drug war, but you’re not looking at it just from the police force’s point of view and you’re not looking at it just from the dealer’s point of view, you’re looking at it from all sides. That’s what we have here.”

WHAT: The Deuce

WHEN: Showcase, Monday, 11am and 8.30pm

Coles hops into half hour delivery with Deliveroo

Coles has added another twist to its experiments with online delivery, teaming up with the bicycle-based service Deliveroo to offer 30-minute home deliveries on groceries.
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Deliveroo, which mostly delivers food from restaurants, has been offering “food packs” such as a selection of barbecue items or entertainment snacks for delivery to customers in Melbourne’s inner-east since early this year.

The partnership upped the ante last month and is now offering a range of basic groceries for home delivery, including milk, bread, cheese, spreads and fruit and vegetables, plus a range of “meal packs” that include ingredients to make dishes such as pork noodle soup and risotto.

Coles has started promoting the offer to customers, advertising home delivery within 30 minute on those products through Deliveroo’s network, which is made up of contractors mostly using bicycles or scooters.

???Deliveroo is the second “share economy” service Coles has teamed up with as it tries to improve its online and home delivery offering ahead of digital retail giant Amazon’s arrival in some time next year.

The supermarket last month started a short trial with Silicon Valley giant Uber, in which the “ride-sharing” company’s network of drivers completed same-day deliveries for items that were left out or needed to be replaced from orders Coles’ own trucks delivered. The Uber trial was run out of Coles’ online-only “dark store” in Richmond South.

A Deliveroo spokeswoman said the service was only available to customers living within about three kilometres of Coles’ Richmond store, but that “based on the success of the partnership, we’re wanting to roll it out further”. A Coles spokesman declined to comment.

Retail consultant Steven Kulmar, founder of Retail Oasis, said Coles and Woolworths were both improving their online offering and deliveries with an eye on Amazon, which is due to open a full retail service in some time next year.

It is not clear exactly what Amazon’s local offering will be, but it could include its grocery service Amazon Fresh, which in the United States offers customers same-day grocery deliveries.

Mr Kulmar said delivery models like Uber and Deliveroo were attractive because consumers were moving towards smaller, more frequent shops.

“Customers are more interested in fresh – they’re interested in tonight’s meal and tomorrow night’s meal, not meals for the next fortnight,” he said.

Larger items were better suited to a click and collect “drive through” model, which had been “incredibly successful” for Amazon Fresh and which Woolworths was trying to emulate, Mr Kulmar said.

Amazon has signalled its intention to become a bigger player in the supermarket space with its $18 billion aquisition of Whole Foods.

Call for power to ban ‘unfit’ financial services bosses

The corporate watchdog should be given stronger powers to ban senior financial services managers and directors who oversee serious breaches of the law, an official review suggests.
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As part of a push to promote greater accountability in finance, the n Securities and Investments Commission Enforcement Review Taskforce has argued the regulator lacks the power to ban some senior managers or directors who are “unfit” for their role.

The gap in its legal powers has meant that some banned financial advisers continue to work in the industry as managers, potentially putting customers at risk, a consultation paper says.

It may also mean senior managers who oversee repeated breaches of the law are able to move within the industry without being punished, the paper said.

In response, the paper argued there was a need for ASIC to have powers to take action against senior managers or directors who have overseen businesss that have had “serious systemic compliance failures”.

“The government and the community are demanding better from those who occupy senior roles in banks, and the financial services sector generally,” financial services minister Kelly O’Dwyer said.

Such changes would beef up ASIC’s powers at the same time as the n Prudential Regulation Authority will also get greater power to ban senior managers and intervene in how top executives of banks are paid.

After a run of scandals in financial services in recent years, the government has appointed the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce to give the watchdog stronger powers when policing the sector.

Under current rules, ASIC can ban someone from providing financial services, but not from acting in a managerial position in the sector.

Nor can ASIC ban a director or manager “who may not have breached financial services laws but were nonetheless integral to the operation of the business,” the paper said.

ASIC can ban directors or managers who knowingly broke the law, but the paper said said there was a “residual concern” over its powers to take action against managers who “were responsible for the relevant business and failed to ensure that it was conducted in a lawful manner”.

The paper provided a case study in which ASIC identified “widespread breaches” of the law from a “large” licensee, and it accepted an enforceable undertaking.

The case study said ASIC had concerns about several senior managers within the firm, including a manager dubbed “Mr G,” who was later involved in further management failings at another firm.

“Despite the fact that Mr G appears to be involved in management failings at a number of licensees, ASIC is unable to ban him from managing financial services providers,” the case study said.

In response, the paper proposes the circumstances in which it can ban people to should be broadened, to expressly cover directors, company officers and managers.

It should be able to ban these people if ASIC has reason to believe they are “not a fit and proper person to provide a financial service”, the paper said.

Richmond star Dustin Martin’s dad locked out of China by new law

???Dustin Martin’s father will be unable to see his son play finals footy, or possibly win a Brownlow medal, after a new law was pushed through that would prevent Shane Martin from returning to .
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Immigration Minister Peter Dutton had an amendment passed to the Migration Act to stop the Richmond star’s father, and up to 20 other people, whose visas have been cancelled, from re-entering .

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government was “proud” of its decision to cancel Mr Martin’s, who he said posed a threat to .

Mr Turnbull made no apologies while speaking to radio station 3AW on Thursday.

Dustin Martin and his father Shane.

“His [Dustin Martin’s] father has had his visa cancelled because of his criminal record and association with outlaw motorcycle gangs,” Mr Turnbull said.

“People who are outlaw motorcycle gang members, who are criminals or threats to national security cannot stay in the country”.

When asked if Mr Martin posed a threat to the safety of the country, Mr Turnbull replied “of course”.

The new laws were passed on Monday, in anticipation of a High Court decision.

The High Court found on Wednesday that Mr Dutton had been wrong to kick out two men accused of being Rebels bikies, AJ Graham and Mehaka Lee Te Puia.

The High Court ruled 6-1 in the men’sfavour and ordered the government to pay their legal costs.

The men were extradited from based on secret information from police and intelligence services.

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove signed off on an amendment on Tuesday, just hours before the High Court ruling, to ensure any other decisions on visa cancellations by Mr Dutton under Section 503A of the Migration Act would stand.

Mr Dutton’s office said Mr Martin’s visa was cancelled for the safety of the n community because of his criminal record and association with outlaw motorcycle gangs.

“He [Shane Martin] should have thought about the consequences of his actions on his family and the victims of crimes at the time of his offending. This amendment ensures that people who are outlaw motorcycle gang members, organised criminals and threats to national security cannot stay in ,” a statement from Mr Dutton’s office said.

Mr Dutton strengthened his resolve while talking to radio station Triple M on Thursday morning.

“He’s not coming back, no,” he said of Mr Martin.

“I feel for the Martin family in the circumstances but I’ve got to take into consideration not only those people that have been victims of crimes committed by outlaw motorcycle gang members and those associated with them but also the future impact, that is we want to try and reduce crime.”

Mr Dutton said among the 20 people whose visas has been cancelled were “some pretty nasty characters”.

“If they’re going to harm ns I don’t understand how they can expect to stay here on their visas.”

The AFL star and his father last week opened up about their bond in separate interviews on the Nine Network’s The Footy Show.

Mr Martin has previously denied being involved in criminal activity.

He also revealed his desire to come back to to watch the Brownlow where Dustin is a favourite to win, or to see him play in an AFL football final.

Dustin’s family said last week that they were hopeful the High Court decision on Wednesday would allow Shane Martin to return to as early as next week.

Mr Martin has previously said he would take his fight to return to the High Court if necessary and said the weight of Dustin’s decision on his football future with the Tigers had taken its toll on the family.