Trade tensions between China and Australia took a dangerous turn this morning as the ‘Red Dragon’ was reportedly drawing up a hit list of imported products to ban from Australia.
Chinese officials have drawn up a hit list of Australian exports that could face added restrictions or sanctions, as diplomatic relations between the two countries continue to sour. It is understood that Australian wine and dairy, along with seafood, oatmeal, and fruit, are on the list, which could subject billions of dollars worth of exports to China to stricter quality checks, anti-dumping probes, tariffs or customs delays.
Each year Australian companies export about $1 billion worth of dairy, and $1.3 billion of wine, including $658 million of seafood to China and these tariffs could seriously harm the economy, thousands of jobs are also at risk.
Chinese foreign affairs and trade experts, including Yu Lei, a chief research fellow at the Research Centre for Pacific Island Countries at Liaocheng University, who described Tuesday’s announcement of an 80 per cent tariff on barley as a “mild reminder” to Australia.
“Trade should be independent from politics, but it’s hard to completely divide them in reality,” Yu said.
The barley trade alone is worth an estimated $2 billion a year to Australia.