Significant Australian steel manufacturer (and All Torque Transmissions customer), Bluescope, has recently announced 1000 job losses across its Australian manufacturing operations. As usual, the strength of the Australian dollar has made the price of exported product prohibitive.
This news comes fresh on the heels of manufacturing job losses at Heinz, SPC and Ford, where reaching a shutdown decision was made easier by the lack of international demand. All three are also All Torque customers.
Economists the world over sing the praises of an economy that expolits what it is good at, whilst less efficient industries shrivel up and die. In this sense, comparative advantage is a relative term, as Australia enjoys a virtual resource monopoly on much of what it has.
Economists are also quick to point out that consumers value variety and are willing to pay for it. As each Australian manufacturer becomes a 'former Australian manufacturer', that variety is being continually and quickly eroded.
Luckily, Australia's poor mining fraternity lobbied the Australian government for a lesser mining super profits tax, so the sharholders can sleep well at night.