China removes tariffs on Australian barley

Australia has said it’ll end a case against China at the World Trade Organization, after Beijing agreed to lift its tariffs on Australian barley.

China imposed various tariffs on Australian goods in 2020 after Canberra called for an international investigation into the origins of Covid-19. But Australia stood its ground and called the tariffs “economic coercion”.

After a new Australian government ushered in a “stabilisation” of China relations last year, speculation grew that Beijing might hit ctrl-z on its tariffs. That’s now happened with barley, and Australia is hoping wine is next.

Intrigue’s take: While painful for specific producers, Australia’s economy mostly shrugged off the tariffs imposed by its largest trade partner. That’s partly because barley growers found new markets to hawk their grain.

But it’s also partly because China kept buying vast quantities of Australia’s top export: iron ore. So the immediate story here may be one of resilience. But there’s a longer term story here about vulnerability, too.

Also worth noting:

  • Australian barley has mainly been used in animal feed and beer production in China.
  • As tensions between Australia and China escalated in 2020, China’s embassy passed to the Australian media a list of 14 ‘grievances’ that Beijing had with Canberra.
Latest Author Articles
Western funding for Ukraine under pressure as the war approaches its third calendar year 

The White House warned in a letter to Congress yesterday (Monday) that military and economic assistance to Ukraine will run out by the end of the year without additional funding. Failure to allocate new money would “kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield”, according to budget director Shalanda Young.

5 December, 2023
Court forces Panama to shut a key copper mine

Panama’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously (🇵🇦) on Tuesday that the law behind the country’s vast Cobre Panama copper mine was “unconstitutional”.

30 November, 2023
BBC report alleges COP28 host UAE used host status to source oil and gas deals

Documents leaked to the Centre for Climate Reporting suggest UAE officials have sought to leverage their COP28 host country status to push for oil and gas deals, just as the UAE kicks off the COP28 climate talks in Dubai this Thursday.

28 November, 2023
An Israel-Hamas ‘hostages-for-pause’ deal?

Hamas may soon agree to release 50-100 women and children being held as hostages in Gaza, according to Israeli, Qatari, and American officials.

21 November, 2023