China lifts ban on Australian timber imports in one other signal of bettering bilateral relations

CANBERRA, Australia — China opened its doorways on Thursday to Australian timber imports for the primary time in additional than two years, in one other signal that the tattered bilateral relationship is being repaired.

Timber was on a listing of Australian exports subjected to official and unofficial Chinese language commerce boundaries imposed in 2020 after Australia known as for an unbiased inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The checklist that included coal, wine, barley, beef, seafood, cotton and copper was estimated to value Australian exporters $14 billion a 12 months.

However relations have improved for the reason that center-left Labor Celebration got here to energy a 12 months in the past, ending 9 years of conservative rule in Australia. Australian coal, cotton and copper exports to China have lately resumed.

Chinese language Ambassador to Australia Xiao Qian mentioned the timber ban had been lifted from Thursday as a result of Australian exporters had glad China’s quarantine considerations. The Australian authorities was formally knowledgeable on Wednesday.

“So from right now on, the Australian timber goes again to China,” Xiao advised reporters.

The breakthrough got here after Commerce Minister Don Farrell visited Beijing final weekend looking for to carry commerce boundaries particularly on Australian wine and barley.

International Minister Penny Wong welcomed the return of the timber commerce with China. It had been value $1 billion a 12 months earlier than the ban.

“We’re happy with this growth,” Wong mentioned throughout a joint press convention along with her Philippine counterpart Enrique Manalo throughout a go to to Manila.

“We do imagine that removing of those commerce impediments advantages each events,” she added, referring to China and Australia.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers mentioned China’s determination on timber was a step towards his authorities’s goal to stabilize the financial relationship with China.

“It’s a crucially essential marketplace for us and we need to stabilize the connection and any progress in lifting these commerce restrictions is welcome,” Chalmers advised reporters.

The Australian Forest Merchandise Affiliation, which represents a variety of forestry and paper industries, additionally welcomed China’s determination.

“When the ban got here into impact greater than two years in the past, it brought on a substantial amount of upheaval and uncertainty for a lot of timber exporters and the broader forest sector and this decision is welcomed,” the affiliation’s chief govt Joel Fitzgibbon mentioned in a press release.

China is Australia’s largest buying and selling associate, with two-way commerce totaling $287 billion final 12 months.

In April, Australia suspended a grievance to the World Commerce Group in a bid to reopen the Chinese language market to Australian barley.

In return, China has agreed to overview its determination to impose an 80% tariff on the grain. Australia hopes that China will agree inside months to carry tariffs on each Australian barley and wine.


Related Press reporter Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this report.


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