(Bloomberg) -- Australia will continue to press China to remove trade impediments affecting live lobster and red meat as relations between the two countries warm, said Trade Minister Don Farrell.
China has imported 314,000 tons of barley from Australia since duties were removed in August, Farrell said in a statement Saturday in Sydney, citing data from Beijing. This is the first time in more than three years that Chinese authorities have released official data showing that Australian barley has returned, he said.
“The removal of duties on Australian barley by China in August was a much needed shot in the arm for Australian farmers,” he said. “I look forward to the removal of import duties on Australian wine following the completion of a review by China, and I will continue to press for the re-entry into China of Australian live lobster and red meat.”
China imposed tariffs on wine and barley in an apparent attempt to punish Australia after then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2020 called for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19, angering Beijing. Other punitive actions citing biosecurity issues blocked access for live lobsters, beef and other products.
China was Australia’s largest export market for barley — with trade worth as much as A$1.5 billion ($990 million) in 2017-18. The world’s second-largest economy last month announced a review of the wine tariffs.
Read more: China Reviews Tariffs on Australian Wine for Possible Scrapping
Farrell credited “sustained dialog” with China by the Labor government for the progress toward lifting trade impediments. Trade relations with China are on a “positive trajectory,” he added.
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