Lifting Beijing trade sanctions remains Australian prime minister’s priority

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese continues to publicly urge Beijing to lift trade sanctions on Australian exports.

“What I have said very clearly is that we want to work with China as much as we can, disagree where we have to, but engage Australia’s national interests,” Albanese said on 14 January. said at a press conference that it would be in Australia’s interest to be able to export to China without any barriers.

The prime minister said his government has been diplomatically engaged with the Chinese Communist regime since last year’s election and will continue to do so.

“I had positive talks with President Xi late last year and visited Senator Wong as foreign minister on December 21 to mark the 50th anniversary of Australia-China relations.” He said.

Epoch Times photo
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 14, 2022. (Firdia Lisnawati/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“I believe it is in the interest of both countries to continue to develop a more positive relationship.”

The Chinese regime’s trade enforcement on Australian exports began in 2020. Includes wine, barley, honey, beef, lamb, wood, seafood and coal. To punish the country for the Morrison government calling for an investigation into her COVID-19 origins.

The Australian Government is currently working to: two formal disputes WTO procedures with China on tariffs on wine and barley.

Beijing calls for end of WTO trade dispute

China’s Ambassador to Australia Xiao Chen has called on the Australian government to drop the WTO dispute.

the ambassador said. Australian Financial Review On 10 January, he said the move was a “good idea” and that finding solutions at the bilateral level would be easier than at the forum.

Ambassador’s comments contrast with Trade Minister Don Farrell’s who told ABC Radio on December 29 WTO action was the only way forward, and there was no “easy and quiet way to solve these problems.”

“We didn’t want to take action in the first place,” Farrell said. “The previous administration was trying to solve the problems. They couldn’t, and this is the only way we can move forward with these problems.”

Despite diplomatic tensions, Farrell said Australia has an unusual relationship with China in that it is currently Australia’s largest trading partner, with nearly $300 billion in trade in 2022. said to be in

“It eclipses all trade with the US, Japan, South Korea, France and the UK. We have more trade with China than all of these countries, but we have problems with three or four products,” he said. rice field.

“They include barley, wine, meat and above all crawfish. We want to fix those problems. The signs are good. However, we have not achieved a breakthrough yet and only time will tell how we will eventually solve these outstanding issues.”

Wing’s New Competitor

But China may soon find itself competing with India for Australian goods after the free trade agreement takes effect in January. This could be of great benefit to Australia.

“With a population of 1.4 billion, it is one of the world’s largest economies and currently one of our key trading partners. and we don’t rely on one big economy to sell our products,” said Farrell.

“We have had a very long and good relationship with India.Of course the Prime Minister wants to go to India early next year to secure a great potential new trading partner which is very important to Australia. We want to build these good relationships for the sake of

By 2022, India will be Australia’s 6th largest trading partner And it’s the fourth largest export market worth $24 billion (US$16.7 billion).

The deal has also been welcomed by India and is expected to boost its economy.

Suhail Nathani, Managing Partner, Economic Laws Practice, said: Times of India The free trade agreement was a triumph, both economically and strategically.

“India and Australia’s ECTA is a win-win opportunity for both countries,” he said, noting that it would reduce costs for Australian consumers and provide a large market for Australian minerals, agricultural products and wine.

“From India’s perspective, the relaxation of visa requirements, opportunities for pharmaceutical and dual degree programs are unprecedented.”

He also said the deal will create a stable and reliable supply chain in a tough geopolitical environment.

“Trade is moving to countries with like-minded values, and neither India nor Australia can get out of these groups.

Victoria Kelly-Clark

Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australia-based reporter focusing on the national politics and geopolitical environment in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.