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Optimism of China tariffs lifting ahead of PM visit

Murray Watt says negotiations are continuing to lift tariffs imposed by China on Australian products, as the prime minister prepares to visit Beijing.



Agriculture Minister Murray Watt remains confident further tariffs on Australian products imposed by China could be lifted, as the prime minister prepares to visit Beijing.


While China has agreed to review its tariffs on Australian wines, Senator Watt said  work was still ongoing to ensure other embargoes could be dropped as tensions ease with the Asian nation.


"I would like to think that as each of these different commodities is resolved that we can move on to the next one," he told ABC radio on Monday.


"Representations have been made on matters like lobster, beef and sheep since we were able to get that agreement with China about wine, so I'm optimistic that we can get there and we'll keep working hard until we do."


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will visit China on Saturday, the first time an Australian leader has visited the Asian superpower since 2016.


Tariffs have recently been lifted on Australian products such as barley, which had been imposed since 2020 during a dispute between China and the federal government under former prime minister Scott Morrison.


Foreign Minister Penny Wong told ABC radio the approach taken to China by the former prime minister was not the right one.


"We've said for a long time we want a more stable relationship with China," she said.


"I don't think it was good for the country, the very political domestic approach that Scott Morrison took."


Senator Wong said the visit by Mr Albanese would be important and that she was pleased the trip was taking place.


"We know that there are things on which we will we can co-operate. We also know there are things on which we are going to disagree," she said.


"Part of what we have to do is continue to manage this relationship, including the differences we have wisely, part of that is engagement."


The prime minister said on Sunday his visit would be about opening up engagement with China, but denied Australia would be there as a go-between for America.


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