New Zealand is backing Australia in the “barley dispute” with China
New Zealand has decided to support Australia in its dispute with China on barley tariffs, signaling goodwill to work on differences in how to approach Beijing. The announcement came on Sunday when Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived in New Zealand for a Monday summit with Jacinda Ardern. The talks were likely to be challenged by differences over China, the biggest trading partner of both countries, with Australia at loggerheads with Beijing and New Zealand taking a more accommodating approach.
China has in recent months moved to restrict imports of Australian products such as barley, wine and beef, with the World Trade Organization saying on Friday it would establish a dispute settlement panel to resolve the barley row. Ahead of Morrison’s visit, New Zealand Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said his government was backing Canberra in the spat.
“New Zealand is participating in this dispute as a third party because it raises systemic issues of importance to the effective functioning of the multilateral rules-based trading system,” local media cited O’Connor as saying.
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