MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE
MEMBER FOR BRAND
ED HUSIC MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND RESOURCES
MEMBER FOR CHIFLEY
Scott Morrison must stand up for Australian exporters in the wake of China’s decision to impose debilitating tariffs on Australian wine from tomorrow.
Labor is deeply concerned about this latest threat to Australian exports and calls on the Government to come up with a plan to support our exporters rather than leave them to go it alone.
Australian wine exports to China were worth $1.1 billion in the year to June 30, according to industry body Wine Australia.
China is the biggest destination for Australia‘s wine exports, accounting for 39 per cent of total shipments in the first nine months of 2020.
The Australian wine industry and Chinese consumers have long benefited from a productive and respectful mutual relationship.
In addition to wine producers, our barley growers, meat processors, coal companies, lobster fishers and cotton growers have all experienced unexpected difficulties accessing the Chinese market this year.
Billions of dollars in trade and thousands of Australian jobs are at risk.
Labor calls on Mr Morrison to explain to the Australian people what these trade restrictions mean for jobs, and what he is doing to help our exporters.
Labor understands the relationship with China is increasingly complex. It is a relationship that must be managed in the national interest and not for partisan political interests.
Mr Morrison has failed to deliver leadership on the China relationship and has failed to admonish inflammatory behaviour by his backbenchers that has made a bad situation worse.
At the same time, the Government has downgraded the importance of the Trade portfolio.
Australia needs a Trade Minister who can devote the requisite time and energy to find solutions for our trade problems with China.
Under this Government, Australia has become more reliant on China as an export market.
Yet despite ongoing and foreseeable bilateral tensions, Scott Morrison still has no plan to help Australian exporters or to make trade diversification a national priority.