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Trade minister vows to persevere on China ban removal


Following his visit to China, Don Farrell says he's still optimistic of trade restrictions being lifted on Australian products, but it won't happen overnight.



Trade Minister Don Farrell has vowed to persevere with Chinese counterparts in a bid to get billions of dollars worth of trade restrictions removed from Australian products.

Following his return from Beijing where he met with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, Senator Farrell said he was still optimistic of restrictions on items such as barley, wine and lobsters being removed.


Despite the in-person meetings in China, Senator Farrell said it would take time for trade relations to return to normal.


"My objective in this process is to simply persevere and persist, so that at the end of the day, all of the trade impediments are removed," he told ABC Radio on Monday.

"The problems aren't solved overnight ... we want Australian food and wine producers to get their products back into China and we want the Chinese consumers to have the advantage of the wonderful Australian product."


In a sign of improving relations between the two countries, China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang is set to visit Australia in coming months. The trip has yet to be formally announced by Beijing.


Senator Farrell described talks with China during his visit as an important step forward to stabilising the relationship, although he said it was unlikely the trade restrictions would disappear immediately.


"This was the first in-person meeting between the Australian and the Chinese trade ministers since 2019, and I thought it was a pretty warn and constructive, and frankly, a candid discussion," he said.


"If things go to plan, there'll be a decision by the Chinese government. We're hopeful that that decision will remove those tariffs."


Opposition trade spokesman Kevin Hogan said there was disappointment the trip had not resulted in the removal of sanctions, but acknowledged it was a positive move towards mending relations with the key trading partner.


"I publicly supported the trade minister's visit to China as a positive step in the trade relationship thaw but nevertheless join the many exporters who are disappointed that it delivered no dividend in sanction relief," he said.


"Australia has been a good faith actor in its engagement with China, reflecting the importance of the trade relationship and the longevity of our diplomatic relations."


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