China lifts Aussie beef im­port ban

Countryman - - NEWS -

Cat­tle farm­ers can breathe a sigh of re­lief af­ter China lifted an im­port ban on Aus­tralian beef, which had lasted sev­eral months.

China’s quar­an­tine agency im­posed the ban in late July af­ter dis­cov­er­ing la­bels on some boxes of ex­ported beef did not match packet la­bels in­side.

While the coun­try agreed to ac­cept meat sent from Aus­tralia be­fore July 24, the sus­pen­sion had af­fected six pro­ces­sors.

Act­ing Prime Min­is­ter Julie Bishop said it was “very good news” given the beef ex­port in­dus­try was worth about $670 mil­lion to the Aus­tralian econ­omy each year.

“There were some is­sues re­gard­ing la­belling reg­u­la­tions that have now been re­solved very quickly,” she said in Perth.

“Given the strength of the trad­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween Aus­tralia and China and the fact that we have a high-qual­ity, com­pre­hen­sive free-trade agree­ment be­tween our two coun­tries, it’s pleas­ing that this mat­ter has been re­solved.”

There had been spec­u­la­tion the ban had been re­lated to Ms Bishop’s com­ments on China’s mil­i­tary am­bi­tions but Ms Bishop said Chi­nese of­fi­cials had not raised any con­cerns with her.

Other ex­port­ing coun­tries — in­clud­ing Canada and Ger­many — have had their trade sus­pended for sim­i­lar breaches over the past year.

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