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Fears of trade war with China escalate after ban on meat imports

The Australian government are playing down fears of a trade war with China after an import ban was placed on four Australian abattoirs.

Beef imports have been suspended and tariffs on barley have already been threatened, which will have a billion-dollar impact on both industries.

Research Director at the Perth USAsia Centre Dr Jeffrey Wilson told Ben Fordham it’s hard not to see China’s actions as retaliation against Australia’s call for an international investigation into the origins of coronavirus.

“What we saw about a week ago was an unprecedented statement by the Chinese ambassador that there would be suspended trade across different Australian food products.

“When you threaten to do it, then you do it, it’d be difficult to say that wasn’t why it happened.”

Dr Wilson said it was a difficult situation to manage as Australian jobs were on the line, but the coronavirus impact is significant and needs investigation.

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Image: Getty