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China lifts trade bans on Australian beef with 'immediate effect'

By AFP

May 30, 2024 10:01 AM


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China has lifted a ban on five of Australia's biggest red meat exporters with "immediate effect", Australia's agriculture minister said Thursday, dismantling one of the last barriers in an easing trade dispute.

"The details of this are still emerging but we found out last night that China has lifted, with immediate effect, the ban that it had on five different Australian beef processing operations," Agriculture Minister Murray Watt told national broadcaster ABC.

Starting in 2020, a slew of Australia's most lucrative export commodities were effectively banned from China as the two countries fought a bitter trade dispute.

But as relations have improved under a new government in Canberra, Beijing has dropped tariffs on Australian barley and wine, halted an import ban on timber, and resumed shipments of coal.

Suspensions were lifted on three other major red meat abattoirs late last year.

Australian rock lobster remains one of the last products subject to an unofficial Chinese trade ban.

Australia's relationship with China began unravelling in 2018, when Canberra excluded telecommunications giant Huawei from its 5G network on security grounds and later passed laws on foreign interference.

Then in 2020, Australia called for an international investigation into the origins of Covid-19 -- an action China saw as politically motivated.

In response, Beijing slapped trade restrictions on a slew of Australian exports.


AFP


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