Australian Barley Cargo Turns Away From China Amid Tensions

Australia welcomes virus inquiry but condemns China tariff

China Targets Australia for Virus Probe

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.

Weihuan Zhou, an global economic law expert at the University of New South Wales, said China's decision to impose tariffs was a "natural consequence" of a Chinese anti-dumping investigation into Australian barley launched in November 2018.

However, trade minister Simon Birmingham said Australia would not retaliate against China, the country's biggest trading partner.

The tariffs that take effect Tuesday come a week after China banned beef imports from Australia's four largest abattoirs over labeling issues. With the effective halt to the $600m of annual barley exports to the country, agricultural bodies are paying close attention to the wool industry's roughly 75% export reliance on Chinese demand.

"Nearly one-third of this, 28 per cent, is exported to China, including 18% of our total beef production and 49% of our barley", Simson said. "It could be sold to Saudi Arabia, but it will be heavily discounted to what Australian farmers could have received by selling to China", an Australian government source told Reuters news agency.

Chinese officials routinely refuse to confirm a trade disruption is related to a political clash but make it clear Beijing wants concessions.

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"This would continue until tariffs were removed or a new market was found".

"This barley decision is bad for Australian farmers, but it's also bad for Chinese breweries and other customers of Australian barley in China who will end up paying more for product or getting substandard product from around the world", Birmingham said in an interview with Channel 7.

"The resolution also called for the use of existing mechanisms to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-co-ordinated worldwide health response to COVID-19".

"When the Australian Prime Minister said he wanted to establish an inquiry into what had happened, how the coronavirus started".

McGregor said that in light of the barley tariff and rising tensions, wholesalers and importers inside China "will now think there's a risk of importing from Australia".

Any shift of focus to Australia's mining exports "could signify a real escalation in tensions", said Rajah, who previously worked at the Asian Development Bank and the Reserve Bank of Australia.

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"It would be nice if, for a change, they took Australia's side in a dispute".

An independent analysis of the health and wellness feedback- to be gone for a later day- was concurred to without dissent by participants of the World HealthAssembly The European Union- prepared movement brought in a variety of co-sponsors consisting of Australia and eventually China.

The South China Sea remains a strategically important route for access to Southeast Asia.

Birmingham explained to Fran Kelly on ABC Breakfast Radio on May 19 that the Chinese commerce minister had not spoken to him ahead of these decisions-a fact Birmingham said was "deeply disappointing".

"It's really hard to tell which industry will be targeted next", Zhou said, noting wine, wool and dairy exports could all be targeted.

The row potentially undermines Australia's shift to allow significantly more public activity this week under the first phase of a three-step federal government plan to reopen business, schools, restaurants, and other public life in a bid to give the economy a boost.

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