Australian government 'pleased' by China's decision to lift Australian beef import suspension

Updated 2017-10-31 13:32:08 Xinhua

The Australian government said Tuesday it was "pleased" by a decision from China to lift a suspension of red meat imports from Australia, after six Australian meat-processing companies were disallowed from exporting beef to China in July.

Earlier this year, Beef City, JBS Prime, Kilcoy Pastoral Co, Northern Cooperative Meat Co, Australian Country Choice and Thomas Foods International were all banned from exporting beef to China due to labelling concerns, but on Tuesday, Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo confirmed the beef exports would resume.

He said when combined, the six facilities make up 30 percent of all Australian beef exports to China.

"The Turnbull Coalition Government is pleased China has lifted the suspension of red meat imports from six Australian meat-processing facilities," Ciobo said in a media release.

"This positive outcome reflects the high level of cooperation between Australian and Chinese authorities, and our red meat industry."

Ciobo said the Australian government has fostered an "excellent" economic relationship with China, and that it respects the Chinese government's "strong commitment" to importing red meat which adheres to the strictest standards.

"Australia has an excellent relationship with China, our largest trading partner. The goodwill generated by the success of the ChAFTA (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement) assisted in resolving this matter quickly," Ciobo said.

"We respect the Chinese government's strong commitment to food safety for their consumers and understand the importance of meeting their import requirements."

He also said the government works hard to preserve Australia's clean, green and safe food credentials and "this remains key to maintaining our agricultural trade with countries such as China".

According to the Australian government, beef exports to China were worth 670 million Australian dollars (516 million U.S. dollars) in 2016.

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