There’s growing concern that Australia is facing a trade war with China, after it imposed an import ban on four Aussie abattoirs.
Three of the four abattoirs are based in Queensland, throwing the future of beef farmers into doubt.
It comes just days after China threatened to introduce an 80 percent tariff on Australian barley.
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There is suspicion that the moves follow the Prime Minister’s call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak.
Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has told Sunrise that the matters are not related, though they are becoming concerning.
“Chinese officials say both privately and publicly that these are unconnected matters, that the investigations in relation to barley and the issues in relation o beef have been running for 12-18 months in duration before they’ve reached these decisions.
“Now the decision themselves concern us, and that’s why we’re working around the clock as a government to respond in a calm and methodical matter to Chinese authorities and to put the best possible case forward for our farmers and businesses to make sure that we protect the thousands of jobs that are involved,” Minister Birmingham said.
Meantime, it’s understood the dairy industry has now called a snap meeting with the federal government, with concerns they could be next.