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Australia Australia won't retaliate against China barley tariffs as minister says 'there is no trade war'

04:27  19 may  2020
04:27  19 may  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Australia has become reliant on a country ‘who’s shown us that they are an enemy’

  Australia has become reliant on a country ‘who’s shown us that they are an enemy’ Leader of Katter’s Australia Party Robbie Katter says until Australia can “learn to cut China out of the equation” in most respects, we will “always have a weak bargaining position”. China has given the nation’s barley producers ten days before potentially imposing close to an 80 per cent tax on its barley imports.This comes as an ongoing committee into the need for diversification in Australia’s trade relationships is preparing to call on the Chinese Ambassador to Australia to give testimony.Mr Katter described the current jostling between the Australian and Chinese governments as “certainly a game of brinkmanship”.

Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has requested discussions on the trade issues with his Chinese counterpart, he said in a Birmingham said Australia reserved its rights to bring a case against China at the World Trade Organisation if Beijing imposed the tariffs on Australian barley .

"No, there 's no trade war . In fact, even today, I think you have seen that there 's increased demand for iron ore out of China ," the minister told a media briefing. The minister earlier in the day said Australia would consider going to the World Trade Organization after China on Monday announced

Hon David Littleproud wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says there is no trade war with China. (ABC News: Matt Roberts) © Provided by ABC Health Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says there is no trade war with China. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says Australia is not in a trade war with China, and will not retaliate after the economic superpower confirmed it would set an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley, effectively crippling exports to the lucrative Chinese market.

The tariffs, based on claims Australia subsidised its farmers and sold barley into China below the cost of production, were flagged earlier this month and confirmed overnight.

They effectively put an end to barley trade with China — Australian barley growers' most lucrative market — which in 2018 was worth $1.5 billion.

Australian beef processors 'delisted' in China trade escalation

  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.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has been seeking to speak with his counterpart since China threatened to impose an 80 per cent import tariff on Australian barley . China will make its final decision on the tariff on Tuesday. If it follows through with the threat, Australian exporters fear it will

Australia 's Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham on Monday night denied Australia had China 's Ministry of Commerce released their own statement saying : ' There was a subsidy for imported But Mr Morrison said China had not linked barley tariffs to a COVID-19 inquiry and said it would be

Mr Littleproud said he would be "very disappointed" if the tariffs were linked to Australia's decision to call for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.

"The reality is they are separate" Mr Littleproud said, adding Australians should be proud their Government had led a call for a global inquiry.

"This is a process that started 18 months ago, well before COVID-19 came into place, and this was the juncture, coincidentally, of when it had to come to a decision.

"There's no trade war.

"We won't be retaliating, that won't advance … any of our sectors."

Some exporters have privately raised concerns they could be targeted with trade disruptions, after China suspended the import of beef from four Australian abattoirs.

Premier calls for speedy resolution to China beef export ban

  Premier calls for speedy resolution to China beef export ban Annastacia Palaszczuk warned any "trade war" could cripple Queensland's beef export economy and put thousands of jobs in jeopardy.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".

Sky News host Graham Richardson says the increasingly tense China - Australia relations “ won ’ t develop into a trade war ” Mr Richardson told Sky News host Paul Murray the facts around the virus or the reason behind these tariffs “aren’t anything to them, they’ve got very little to do with the story”.

Australia 's Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham on Monday night denied Australia had China 's Ministry of Commerce released their own statement saying : ' There was a subsidy for imported But Mr Morrison said China had not linked barley tariffs to a COVID-19 inquiry and said it would be

Barley shipments may have already been diverted

Victorian barley grower and chair of Grain Producers Australia Andrew Weidemann said farmers were "gutted" by China's decision to impose the tariffs that "stop the trade completely".

"It's a really bitter pill to swallow," Mr Weidemann said.

"It takes away a market that has been primarily our largest market for the last decade or more."

Mr Weidemann hoped China would open negotiations with Australia over the tariff as soon as possible.

Grain Growers chairman Brett Hosking suggested Australia would likely pursue the matter before the World Trade Organization.

Australian farmers are expecting one of their largest winter crops this year and, after years of drought, many had hoped agriculture could lead the Australian economy to recover when the COVID-19 crisis abates.

"We've got cargoes on the water, at least 100,000 tonnes has gone out of WA recently … they'll have to reconsider that delivery," Mr Weidemann said.

One trade analyst suggested a shipment had already been diverted, although Mr Littleproud said it was not clear whether pending shipments would be subject to the tariff.

"We understand that those shipments that are on their way to China will not have this tariff imposed on them, from what we understand, from the initial communique from China. But we're getting clarification on that," he said.

Why Australia must not bow to China but seek wider trade options .
Australia needs to find allegiance with other nations willing to stand up to China's coercive diplomacy,In 2018, Australian beef and wine exports were left at the docks, unable to enter China. In 2019, Australian coal exports were held up at Chinese ports. Recently, following Prime Minister Scott Morrison's call for an independent international inquiry into COVID-19 outbreak's origin, China suspended beef imports from four Australian abattoirs, and slapped a crippling 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley.

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