China trade war: WA timber latest suspended import after claims of cargo ‘pests’

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Timber has become the latest export facing suspension from China as Australia’s trade war with the Asian superpower escalates. Credit: JOHN MOORE/AP

China has suspended imports of Australian timber from WA after local customs officers claimed they had found pests in cargo.

The declaration came from the General Administration of Customs late on Wednesday, who called time on all incoming cargo from WA and NSW.

China had earlier suspended timber shipments from other Australian states including Victoria and Queensland, amid worsening relations between Beijing and Canberra.

It’s the latest in a long list of Australian products to have been hit by tarrifs or bans in the last few months.

Coal, wine and lobsters have also been hit as trade tensions continue to create havoc for industry in Australia.

Following the most recent ban on lamb, at the beginning of December, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham conceded the Federal Government was becoming “increasingly concerned by the escalating trade war.

Earlier in the year, Beijing slapped sanctions on barley after they claimed it had been subsidised by the Federal Government and “dumped” on the Chinese market by farmers at lower prices.

Last month, a tariff of more than 200 per cent on Australian wine was also enforced.

Senator Birmingham previously said the sanctions were “potentially discriminatory” against Australia, given similar actions were not being taken against suppliers in the US.

“The Australian Government is considering all dispute settlement options in order to support our exporters and ensure they can compete on fair terms,” he said.

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