Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Government is still treating news that China has banned Australian coal imports as “media speculation,” if it is true, then it would be a bad result for both countries’ economies.
A news report said that China is unofficially blocking coal from Australia and blaming “environmental problems” for delays in processing imports.
Prime Minister said if China had proposed a ban, it would be a violation of the rules of the World Trade Organisation.
He said, “Until we are in a place to have that defined, then we can only operate as media consideration in the Chinese region-owned media.”
PM said, “It would be certainly in violation of our free trade deal, and so we would expect that is surely not the case. That is why we are inquiring clarification on this case, but we take these matters very severely.”
Prime Minister Morrison said losing the trade with China would be a multi-billion-dollar hit for Australia.
He said, “As a consequence, that would be a bad outcome for the situation. And it would bad outcome for the trading link between Australia and China.”
Mr Morrison also said China would lose its global reputation as a trading partner if this matter and ban continue towards Australia.
“I am sure that is not something China’s trying to accomplish here,” he said.
The Federal Opposition said the Government required a game strategy to manage China’s continuing warnings and penalties.
Shadow Resources Minister Ed Husic said, “Rather than trade, this is more of diplomacy.”
He said, “another thing too is having a strategy for a very much confident China on the world stage.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said she would greet the opportunity to talk with her counterpart in the Chinese Government, and offers to do so had been made “consistently.”
“We look ahead for the chance to solve these issues.”