Australia demands sit-down talks with China over barley tariff


But overnight, The Global Times reported Chinese power plants had been directed to stop taking Australian coal.

The Chinese embassy in Australia last month laid out a list of 14 grievances with Canberra - everything from limiting Chinese tech giant Huawei's role in Australia's 5G network, to what China called "peddling lies" about abuses of the Uighur Muslim community in Xinjiang, or "siding with the US' anti-China campaign" regarding the coronavirus.

Mr Birmingham said the Federal Government had been unable to establish a dialogue with China over the barley dispute.

He added that Australia remained opened to solving the dispute outside of the WTO case "if both parties are willing to come to the table".

Experts say Beijing has been considering restricting Australian barley imports since 2018 owing to worries that China - which produces only around 20 percent of what it needs of the crop - is overly dependent on imports.

At least 13 Australian sectors have been subjected to Chinese tariffs or some form of disruption, including beef, coal, copper, cotton, lobsters, sugar, timber, tourism, universities, wine, wheat and wool.

Pureplay coal exporters fell sharply, as well.

Mr Morrison said if the Chinese government did confirm the coal ban, it would have to source dirtier coal from other countries, describing it as a lose-lose.

Farmers to observe hunger strike from 8 am to 5 pm tomorrow
On Saturday, a peaceful protest has been organized and will be done in the form of a auto rally to follow all COVID-19 guidelines. Pannu alleged that the central government is trying to "fail" the farmers' movement, making attempts to divide the farmers.

Labor resources spokesman Ed Husic said coalmining communities across Australia depended on exports to China.

After weeks without a direct answer from Beijing, Chinese authorities have finally addressed the country's ongoing import ban on Australian coal.

The government is concerned that China's actions don't appear to be consistent with "the letter or the spirit" of that trade agreement, Birmingham said.

"But to place a levy on iron ore exports from Australia will simply see buyers like China purchase more iron ore from competitor countries like Brazil", said CEO Paul Everingham.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham denounced Beijing's 80 percent surcharge on Australian barley shipments as "not underpinned by facts and evidence", and suggested further WTO action could be in the pipeline. Langcake told CNN Business earlier this month that restrictions on such exports are unlikely, given how reliant China's steel industry is on them.

The Minerals Council of Australia on Tuesday encouraged the Australian and Chinese governments to work together to resolve their issues, and to restore stability to the long-term trading relationship, with CEO Tania Constable stating that a rules-based trade system had ensured a strong, enduring and mutually beneficial economic and trade relationship.

"It is the right avenue for Australia to take at this point in time", he said.

Birmingham said "prices of commodities like iron ore respond to the basic economics of supply and demand, and the supply from other parts of the world has been disrupted this year".