Despite China’s Import Bans, Trade Minister Remains Optimistic

Despite China's Import Bans, Trade Minister Remains Optimistic

Australia’s Trade Minister Remains Optimistic Despite Import Restrictions from China

Australia’s Trade and Tourism Minister, Don Farrell, has returned home from China with an optimistic view of the country’s trade relations, despite major import restrictions remaining in place. Farrell pushed for the Chinese government to lift its prohibitively expensive tariffs on Australian barley, beef, wine, lobster, coal, and timber, but those trade bans remain in place for now.

Positive Momentum in Meeting with Chinese Counterpart

Farrell reported that there was “positive momentum” in his meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Wentao, last night. However, heavy tariffs on many Australian imports remain in place in China. Farrell is hopeful that a reported visit from Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in July will thaw the icy tensions between the two countries. Still, the visit has yet to be confirmed by China.

China’s Frustrations with Australia’s Import Restrictions

During the meeting, Wang Wentao expressed China’s frustrations that their electric cars were not allowed to be imported into Australia. Farrell also spoke out about Australians Cheng Lei and Yang Henjung, who have been detained in China on espionage charges.

No Confirmation on Visit from Chinese Foreign Minister

Chinese Foreign Minister spokesperson Wang Wenbin was asked about the visit at a press conference yesterday. He stated that “China and Australia maintain contact and communication at all levels,” but had nothing specific to share about the visit.


Despite major import restrictions remaining in place, Australia’s Trade Minister remains optimistic about the country’s trade relations with China. While a visit from the Chinese Foreign Minister in July is hoped to thaw tensions between the two countries, it has yet to be confirmed. As trade negotiations continue, it remains to be seen how these import restrictions will impact Australia’s economy and trade relations with China.


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