China’s agreement to drop 80 per cent tariffs on Australian barley is a win for Mallee farmers, Member for Mallee Anne Webster says.
The tariffs were introduced in May 2020 after Beijing accused Australia of selling the grain below the cost of production and subsidising farmers, however the Chinese Government announced they would be dropped on Friday.
“At the height of the trade Australia’s barley exports to China were valued at around $1 billion,” Dr Webster said.
“China’s decision to drop the tariffs is good news for Mallee farmers, with crops now able to be sold to the lucrative Chinese market.”
Grain Producers Australia Chair Barry Large lauded the positive outcome for Australia.
“Barley is an important rotation crop for Australian growers and having another strong market and commercial option to sell our barley into will further support our sustainability and production programs,” he said.
The former Coalition Government referred China to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the tariffs in December 2020 but the appeal was suspended earlier this year when Beijing agreed to a review.
“Australia has shown strength when dealing with international trade relations, this needs to continue,” Dr Webster said.
China’s decision to apply hefty tariffs to Australia’s red wine was also referred to the WTO in 2021.
“Now the barley tariffs have been resolved, the attention must turn to Australian wine exports,” Dr Webster said.
“There will be many wine grape growers and producers in Mallee waiting for that decision in order to re-commence their exports to China.”