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Australia 'hopes' China Will Not Alter Decision On Barley Issue Over Coronavirus Row

Australia PM wishes that the judgement on barley issue is not altered by the protests across Canberra over opening an inquiry over the origin of coronavirus.


As China will soon decide if Australia dumped barley in the mainland, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison wishes that the judgement is not altered by the protests across Canberra over opening an inquiry over the origin of coronavirus outbreak. The United States, Australia and some European countries have called out China over its handling of the novel virus which has now spread to over 212 countries and territories.

Meanwhile, several significant grain groups in Australia reportedly said on May 10 that they have been told China might impose tariffs on barley from Australia as the 18-month inquiry by the Asian superpower to determine the source of grain comes to an end.

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According to international media reports, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is speculating if it should impose a dumping margin of nearly up to 73.6 per cent along with a subsidy margin of up to 6.9 per cent for the barley imported from the island country. The regulatory proposal for taxes on Australian grains came just 14 days after China’s Ambassador to Australia reportedly said there might be economic consequences of Canberra stressing to initiate an investigation into the origin of COVID-19 disease. 

Read - Australia Concerned As China Considering Imposing Hefty Tariffs On Imports Of Barley

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Morrison ‘expect and hope’

Morrison has expressed his wish that Beijing makes the judgement unaltered by politics. According to reports, Australian Prime Minister said the country would ‘expect and hope’ that the issue would be resolved based on its merits it is an anti-dumping issue from the perspective of China. Morrison also said that he would be ‘disappointed’ if the Chinese government raised the barley issue in connection with any other tiff between the countries. However, Australian grain exporters have reportedly denied dumping any grain in the Asian nation.

But if China imposes a tariff on barley, it would severely impact the Australian grain producers as they have already sown their crops. Meanwhile, Birmingham said that the government is working with the Australian grains industry to mount the strongest possible case against China’s anti-dumping investigation. Morrison has been trying to gather international support to launch an investigation into the origin and course of the virus outbreak. However, he also insisted that though his call was not an attempt to target China, an independent assessment would seem entirely reasonable and sensible given the extraordinary impact and implications.

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(With agency inputs)

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