Australia rejects a trade war with China over tariffs on its barley

Australia does not maintain a trade war with China nor will it seek retaliation against Beijing after its imposition of 80% tariffs on Australian barley, the oceanic country's minister of agriculture, David Littleproud, said on Tuesday.

"There is no trade war. Even today there is an increase in China's demand for iron," Littleproud told reporters, adding that both countries continue to trade various agricultural raw materials and minerals, in addition to other services.

China imposed tariffs on Australian barley last night on the grounds that it is subsidized and sold to the Asian giant at a cost that is below its production.

This measure against unfair competition from Australian barley, whose exports to China exceeded A $ 1.5 billion (A $ 979 million or € 897 million) in 2018, comes almost a week after Beijing suspended meat imports. Australian.

These trade measures by China have been interpreted as retaliation against Australia after its ambassador to Canberra, Cheng Jingye, suggested a trade boycott after the oceanic country launched an international investigation into the origin of the pandemic, which was endorsed last night at the World Health Assembly.

For his part, Australian Foreign Trade Minister Simon Birminghan told reporters that "China has denied that there is a link" and opted for "a constructive process" to analyze ways to appeal the imposition of tariffs.

China is the main trading partner of Australia, whose bilateral exchange was 235,000 million Australian dollars (153,591 million US dollars or 141,615 million euros) in the financial year 2018-19, representing an increase of 20.5% compared to to the previous period.

The bilateral relationship has been deteriorating due to issues such as the militarization of the Asian giant or the approval in Australia of laws against interference and foreign espionage, after uncovering cases of Chinese donations to politicians and cyberattacks to state agencies and universities attributed to Beijing. .


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