The Politicisation of Australian Agricultural Trade with China Suggests that New Export Markets Need to be Cultivated

10 September 2020

Beijing imposed trade bans and tariffs on some of the most valuable Australian agricultural exports in 2020. While those exports remained steady in the first half of the year, the latest trade data suggests that they have begun to sharply decline and will continue to face headwinds for the foreseeable future. Beijing has shown that it will use the trade relationship to apply political pressure on Canberra and, as more than one-third of Australian exports are sold to China, it is clear that the current level of trade dependence is unsustainable. New export markets need to be cultivated to reduce the level of coercion that China is capable of applying.

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