Revealed: How the United Nations is smashing Australian businesses by making it cheaper to order goods from CHINA than from local sellers
- A United Nations’ agreement forces Australian businesses to pay more post fees
- The Universal Postal Union was set up to help disadvantaged developing nations
- China is recognised as a developing nation despite it’s huge economic power
- There are growing calls for Australia to renegotiation the unfair agreement
There are growing calls for Australia to tear up a United Nations agreement making shipping on line goods from China cheaper than buying from local suppliers.
The Universal Postal Union is a specialised UN agency which regulates international postage prices so that disadvantaged developing nations can afford to send and receive vital goods.
But beneath the agreement, China, the world’s second largest economy, is considered a developing nation and countries such as Australia are forced to pay as much as double.
Calls are growing for Australia to tear up a United Nations agreement which makes shipping online goods from China cheaper than buying from local suppliers
The issue will undoubtedly be thrust in to the spotlight a few weeks when a senate inquiry in to Australia Post’s delivery standards gets underway in Canberra.
In a submission to the inquiry, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell AO said it’s time to ‘renegotiate’ the deal that has hit businesses particularly hard during the coronavirus crisis.
‘My Office has received a number of complaints from small businesses concerning the price competitiveness of domestic parcel in contrast to international parcel delivery for same or similar products,’ she said.
‘For example, something sold and shipped from a seller may attract free or low cost delivery (e.g. $5).
‘The domestic cost for the same product, shipped to the same location, from an Australian small company could be double that of the international seller.’
China is home to the world’s largest ecommerce platform Alibaba and is expected to become the world largest economy in the 2030s.
The ‘perks and advantages’ it receives as a developing nation have for ages been a point of opprobrium for Australia and its own allies.
The UN allows countries to ‘self designate’ if they are a developing nation centered on a per capita income threshold of $US12,055 ($16,900).
Under the Universal Postal Union agreement the world’s 2nd largest economy China is considered a developing nation and countries like Australia are forced to pay more
‘China, which is a fantastic economic power, is considered a Developing Nation within the World Trade Organisation,’ US President Donald Trump tweeted after raising tariffs on Chinese steel imports in 2018.
‘They therefore get tremendous perks and advantages, especially on the U.S. Does anyone think this is fair. We were badly represented. The WTO is unfair to the united states.’
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also spoke out on the problem when that he visited the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in america last September.
‘The world’s world wide institutions must adjust their settings for China, in recognition of the new status … as a very major world power,’ that he said.
But China strongly rejects the criticism.
In a submission to a senate inquiry, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell AO said it’s time to ‘renegotiate’ the unfair deal that has hit businesses particularly hard during the coronations crisis
‘China is the largest developing country on earth,’ commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters.
‘We do not shy away from our international responsibilities and so are willing to assume obligations in the WTO which are compatible with our very own economic development level and capabilities.’
After the united states threatened to leave the Universal Postal Union citing it had been unfairly treated, the organisation which was established in 1874 agreed to let the other nations decide their own postal rates.
Australia will have a way to set its rates for a five-year period from 2021.
‘We recommend Australia Post renegotiate their UPU agreement terms or implement a fee on all incoming international parcels to establish equity in shipping costs,’ Ms Carnell said.
‘This will help Australian small businesses to gain more footing in the online retail market, that has seen a boom throughout the crisis, and contribute to Australia’s over all economic recovery.’