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Australia Joins the Global Subsidy Race to Promote Critical Industries

Australia’s government has joined the United States and the European Union in a race to lure in more business from abroad, with a focus on transition-related industries such as solar power and hydrogen.

While the size of the subsidy pie has not been detailed, Reuters reports that the Future Made in Australia Act will allocate at least A$18 billion, or about $12 billion, for the effort.

“Securing jobs, attracting investment, and building prosperity has never been a polite and gentle process where every nation gets a turn - it’s always a contest, it’s always a race,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is expected to say in a speech later today, according to a transcript of the speech published on the PM’s website.

“Being in the race does not guarantee our success – but sitting it out guarantees failure as the world moves past us,” the transcript also said, also noting that this would mean greater government participation in investments and markets in general.

"We must recognize there is a new and widespread willingness to make economic interventions on the basis of national interest and national sovereignty," the PM’s speech also said.

Australia has been struggling to keep its industrial sector in growth mode but its current government subscribes to the belief, shared by the EU and the U.S., that a massive investment in transition technologies will change that.

“Too often, government policies distort activity, create unintended consequences, and are slow to adapt as circumstances change and flaws are exposed,” the chief executive of Australia’s national employer association, Ai Group, said in comments on the news.

“Yet we are today invited to make a leap of faith that more government guidance and support is the answer to our ills. Industry will naturally view the promise of more government intervention with suspicion, if not alarm,” Innes Willox also said.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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