Monday, 4 July, 2022

Australia urges China to drop trade tariffs

SYDNEY: Australia's economy minister called on China Wednesday to drop punishing trade tariffs if it wants to thaw frozen relations, after Beijing sent a message signalling it is ready to improve ties.

China -- Australia's biggest trading partner -- imposed tariffs and disrupted more than a dozen key industries, including wine, barley and coal, as relations deteriorated sharply in the past two years, reports AFP.

Canberra had irked Beijing by calling for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and by banning telecoms giant Huawei from building Australia's 5G network.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Australia felt the pain of the Chinese trade squeeze, calling for the measures to be lifted "as soon as possible".