China slaps 80% tariff on Australian barley alleging subsidies and dumping

Thursday, 21 May, 2020

China has actually additionally disallowed red-meat imports from 4 Australian abattoirs on technological regulative premises.

Both China and Australia have said the barley decision is not a form of retaliation by Beijing against Canberra for Australia's push for a global inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Tensions between Beijing and Canberra have escalated several times in recent years, including over a ban on Huawei building Australia's 5G network and Australia closing its border to Chinese citizens early in the coronavirus pandemic.

Wool exports have already suffered from a drop to a five-year low in sale prices because of a halt in demand outside of China during the Covid-19 pandemic - allowing Chinese buyers greater ability to dictate the prices they pay.

While many politicians have criticised China's increasing belligerent rhetoric towards Australia, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas blamed the federal government for the tariff hike on the barley sector.

"We will play our part as the largest state, traditionally the economic powerhouse of the nation, to make sure we generate as much economic activity as possible in a safe environment", NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

China has slapped punitive tariffs of more than 80 per cent on barley imports from Australia as more than 110 countries backed a push for an worldwide coronavirus inquiry.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 and it should be "based on science and professionalism led by World Health Organization, and conducted in an objective and impartial manner".

China slapped an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley.

Bloomberg reports Chinese officials are considering stricter checks for some Australian seafood, oats and fruit, and state media could encourage consumer boycotts.

A customer selects a bottle of Australian wine at a supermarket on June 17, 2015 in Beijing, China. "As we've seen with the barley tariffs, economic coercion is about applying short-term economic and political pain but it will be hard for China to sustain such tactics against the wide range of countries that want the pandemic to be investigated".

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday told the assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation, that China would support a comprehensive review after the pandemic is brought under control.

Scott Morrison and Donald Trump. "It buys water from irrigators, 99% of whom do not grow barley", an Australian government source said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to talk about the matter. However, this initiative has been misinterpreted by some Western politicians and media outlets as being a probe into China's initial handling of the outbreak, first hyped up by countries like Australia.

Weihuan Zhou, a University of New South Wales global trade expert, said China began its barley investigation in 2018 in response to Australia imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel and aluminum.

The WHA resolution commits to an impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation of the global response to the pandemic. Australia's act was widely believed to be instigated by Washington.

"You'd have to expect that the importers would take the message onboard that Australia isn't a friendly country", he said, suggesting Chinese industries would begin diversifying their reliance on Australian goods.

"Others can debate whether or not there's a linkage", Birmingham said.

"Countries have also agreed to co-operate to address cybercrime and not to knowingly allow their territory to be used for internationally wrongful acts".