November 13, 2020

An excerpt from Hansard as I responded to a question on trade with China. Thursday 12 November 2020

"The Australian government has chosen not to enter into a written agreement on the BRI, and we will pursue our national interest incredibly strongly and stand up for it at all times.

There have been reports that we've heard about China placing restrictions on our exports, and these are deeply troubling. As a matter of fact, today there were more reports about logs out of the Port of Portland having restrictions placed on them. I know that this is something that the Member for Barker and I, in particular, are concerned about.

But Chinese authorities have denied these rumours, and we welcome these statements. Given these denials, we would expect Chinese authorities to work as effectively as possible to resolve trade issues in a timely way. We recognise that there are a range of factors behind each trade issue.

In the main, China has been at pains to talk about the technical aspects. China has alleged noncompliance with various technical import requirements. One of the benefits of ChAFTA, the free trade agreement that we have with China, is that it gives us the parameters to work through these disputes, and that's what we will be seeking to do with China.

When it comes to import replacements such as ethanol, Australian government policies allow for ethanol in fuel, and, as the member would be aware, Queensland and New South Wales actually have E10 standards.

We would encourage other states and territories to adopt similar approaches."

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232