Grain Producers Australia Chairman Andrew Weidemann has told Sky News the 80 per cent tariff on barley threatened by the Communist China government would effectively “stop the barley trade” between the two countries entirely.
On Monday, China gave Australia an ultimatum, threatening tariffs up to 80 per cent on grain if the federal government does not respond to allegations of “barley dumping” in 10 days, in an escalation of trade tensions between the two sovereign nations.
The prime minister said a Chinese government review into the alleged ‘dumping’ of Australian barley into the Chinese market has been “going on for 18 months” and refused to link the threat with Australia’s call for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Weidemann says the tariff would make it “too expensive in terms of the actual purchasing price” from China back into Australian growers.
He said an 80 per cent tariff on 200 dollars a ton of barley would see a mere 40 dollars go back to the grower which “wouldn’t be enough to make it worthwhile”.
“Even a 20 per cent tariff or the like would be enough to stop trade essentially between our two countries”.
Mr Weidemann said China has grown over the last decade to be “our biggest barley buyer and user of our product” and the tariff would definitely shut down the $2 billion a year trading relationship.