“In my discussions with many leaders, I’ve taken great encouragement from the support shown for Australia’s preparedness to withstand economic coercion in recent times,” Morrison said in a speech delivered in the Australian west coast city of Perth before leaving for the G7 meeting in Cornwall. The Australian government announced in December it would ask the WTO to intervene in its dispute with China over barley and expects other nations to become involved in the case.
China effectively ended imports of Australian barley in May 2020 by putting tariffs of more than 80% on the crop, accusing Australia of breaching WTO rules by subsidizing barley production and selling the grain in China at below production cost. Trade in Australian seafood, wood, beef, wine and coal has also been disrupted since Australia angered China by requesting an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The Geneva-based WTO, which makes rules governing international trade, is facing calls for restructuring and reform as it struggles to forge a long-awaited world trade pact.