I can see both sides of the story as I sometime purchase items offshore at a discount of a half sometimes 2/3rds price reduced to local prices for the identical items here. Only last week I needed some bearings Local price was $152.00 for the items, price from the UK with express post was $52 AUD for the identical brand bearings.
Local was next day delivery the international parts took 5 days to arrive.
I also understand that labor costs are higher in Australia because of our higher standard of living, and I understand the local supplier has a retail network with overheads whereas the international supplier was a internet supplier only.
So sometimes I will buy locally at higher price because it helps keep people employed in Australia., sometimes I will buy offshore if the price differential is just too great.
It is likely in time most retail purchasing will be usurped by direct purchasing from suppliers online, the internet has disrupted so many industries and will continue to do so in the future, as local suppliers adopt the online marketing methodology, and be price competitive and don’t stick their head in the sand they too will survive and prosper