Australia Premier calls for speedy resolution to China beef export ban

04:27  13 may  2020
04:27  13 may  2020 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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China has suspended beef imports from four of Australia's largest meat processors The suspension comes after Australia last month called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the U.S growers of corn and sorghum could also benefit should Australian barley exports to China be hit by a big tariff.

The ban affects one third of Australia's meat exports worth an annual billion to China , which is Australia's biggest trading partner and the world's Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters the beef ban is due to quarantine violations and isn't related to Australia's calls for an

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk attends a press conference at parliament house on March 25, 2020 in Brisbane. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images) © 2020 Getty Images Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk attends a press conference at parliament house on March 25, 2020 in Brisbane. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images) Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged the federal government to act quickly to resolve a Chinese ban on beef exports from three Queensland beef processing companies to protect jobs.

On Tuesday federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the department had been notified late on Monday that four abattoirs had been suspended by China over "issues related to labelling and health certificate requirements".

Three of the four businesses are based in south-east Queensland: the Chinese-owned Kilcoy Pastoral Company north-west of Brisbane and two JBS-owned meatworks at Toowoomba and Dinmore.

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  Australian beef processors 'delisted' in China trade escalation Australia's livestock farmers could be the latest victims in a fast-evolving trade war, with China with Australian abattoirs banned from selling meat to the Asian giant.Major Australian abattoirs have been banned from selling red meat into China, just days after it announced plans to introduce an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley — bringing the trade to its knees.

The halting of beef imports from four Australian beef processors comes after Australia called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus. “The impact on China is very small,” said a Chinese beef buyer with a state-owned trading firm. “There are a lot of other countries exporting to China .

The U.S.- China trade deal will remove a major hurdle that kept most American beef from being shipped to the Asian nation. Hormone-free beef accounts for existing U.S. exports to China . The U.S. sent much more beef to other nations than to China in November. Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation.

"We are concerned that the suspensions appear to be based on highly technical issues, which in some cases date back more than a year," Senator Birmingham said.

"I've been speaking with industry leaders, colleagues and departments overnight to formulate a comprehensive response.

"We will work with industry and authorities in both Australia and China to seek to find a solution that allows these businesses to resume their normal operations as soon as possible."

The ban follows worsening tensions with China over potential tariffs on barley exports from Australia.

On Wednesday morning Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland trade had been holding up at about $82 billion since the coronavirus pandemic began, but warned a "trade war" could see that fall.

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  Government's 'mismanagement' of China relationship to blame for trade woes, Labor says Labor accuses Scott Morrison of using a face-off with China to chase votes at home, warning the consequences could be immensely damaging to exporters. Opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the Prime Minister was making key industries nervous by allowing the relationship with Beijing to sour."We may be getting just an initial taste of the economic cost of mismanaging our relationship with our most important trading partner," Mr Fitzgibbon said."We must never forego our interest abroad in the interest of chasing votes here in Australia, and I think that is exactly what the Prime Minister has been doing.

China lifted an embargo on US beef last June that had been in place since 2003 over the “mad cow After Beijing ended a nearly 14-year ban on imports, tariffs may put pressure on US cattle farmers and Medical equipment exports rose by 11 per cent in the January-April period compared to a year

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The Premier said China was one of the most important trading partners for the state's economy and said thousands of workers statewide could be impacted if the beef export suspensions continued or worsened.

Queensland owns almost half the nation's beef herd, with beef exports valued at nearly $5 billion and the sector employing more than 18,000 workers.

"What I'm concerned about is the potential for a trade war to erupt and to damage Queensland's exports, to damage Queensland's reputation, and to damage Queensland's jobs and livelihoods," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"These are international diplomatic matters, but I would really urge the federal government to please sort this out as quickly as possible.

"We need some certainty and we need some clarity."

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner wrote to his federal counterpart David Littleproud requesting more information and a speedy resolution.

A JBS spokeswoman said the ban affected beef produced after May 12 and the federal Department of Agriculture had told them the issues were relating to "a range of technical issues".

"JBS Australia is firstly working with [the Department of Agriculture] to understand the technical issues that China has raised and, secondly, based on understanding the issues we will be responding through corrective actions with DAWR," she said.

Kilcoy Pastoral Company was contacted for comment.

Australian Meat Industry Council chief executive Patrick Hutchinson told Nine on Tuesday that "we've had technical issues before" and it was important to remember the companies had only been suspended, which could be lifted at any time.

Australia won't be swayed by China threats, Dutton says .
Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton says Australia will not be intimidated by China's tariff threats amid reports coal exporters could face tougher selling restrictions. New inspection regulations for iron ore imports in China and a decision to slap 80 per cent tariffs on Australian barley imports has already seen the trade war with Beijing escalate.Some beef exports from Australian farms have also been banned."We have beliefs and values - and we're going to stand by those," Mr Dutton told Today."We don't believe there is a reasonable case in relation to the taxes, tariffs imposed by China.

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