The Australian government has signalled that there is little chance of China being welcomed into a key regional trade pact in the near future. This comes as members of the pact prepare to welcome the United Kingdom into the fold this coming weekend.
Tim Ayres, the assistant minister of trade, is now in New Zealand for the purpose of attending a meeting with other members of the CPTPP. On Saturday, the United Kingdom will be formally admitted as the organization’s 12th member. The United Kingdom views its membership as part of its “tilt” toward the Indo-Pacific area.
Ayres gave the impression that this topic was not currently on the agenda, despite the fact that China is also making efforts to join. He told Australia, “I think consideration of future accession applications is some way off,” and he was right.
According to Ayres, “the pre-eminent trade agreement in the world” is the Comprehensive and Progressive Pact for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which stands for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Ayres praised the United Kingdom’s compliance with the rules of the World Trade Organization, even if he did not make a clear connection between China’s prospects and the resolution of a number of outstanding trade issues with Australia.
“It’s great to have another major economy that has a track record of adhering to rules of the WTO and is going to measure up to the standards of the CPTPP,”
The United Kingdom will become one of the organization’s founding members, along with other countries such as Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Taiwan, South Korea, and Costa Rica are among the other countries and economies that have expressed interest in joining the CPTPP in addition to China. Before any new members may join, the current members need to offer their unanimous approval first.
Ayres stated that the government was working through the trade concerns with China “in a systematic way.” His comments came only a few days after Beijing requested an additional month to decide whether or not to abolish tariffs on Australian barley.
“Of course, even though there has been some improvement in terms of the removal of trade impediments with China, there is quite some way to go,” he said. “Even though there has been some improvement in terms of the removal of trade impediments with China.”
“These trade impediments are not in the interest of Australian exporters, but they are also not in the interest of China or Chinese consumers or Chinese industry.” [Case in point] “These trade impediments are not in the interest of China or Chinese consumers or Chinese industry.”
Ayres denied that Australia’s trade diversification plan was under strain, despite the fact that Australia’s trade minister, Don Farrell, quit discussions for a free trade agreement with EU in Brussels this week, citing the offer as being insufficient. Ayres’s comments came after Farrell’s announcement.
Ayres stated that Australia had made it clear to the EU that it would not accept an unfavourable deal, and he added that the two parties would resume their conversation in around one month.
“It would be a really good outcome if we could secure a final agreement with the European Union, but it’s got to be a deal that is fair dinkum in terms of agricultural access, that offers some real improvements in terms of agricultural access,” he added. “It would be a really good outcome if we could secure a final agreement with the European Union.”
“I believe it’s pretty obvious at this point on the European side.”
China has taken a number of moves to ameliorate trade tensions over the previous six months, such as resuming imports of Australian lumber, coal, and stone fruit; however, barley, wine, seafood, and red meat are still subject to restrictions. These steps were done in an effort to reduce the severity of the situation.
During a meeting with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, in Jakarta on the evening of Thursday, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, brought up concerns about trade difficulties, the detention of Australian people, arrest warrants issued in Hong Kong, and the security of the Pacific region.
“I’ve said that we can grow our bilateral relationship while safeguarding our national interest, provided both countries navigate our differences wisely,” Wong remarked to the press in Jakarta on Friday. “I’ve said that we can grow our bilateral relationship while safeguarding our national interest.”
“That is exactly what it is that we want to do. We have continued to press for the removal of all trade restrictions and make representations about Australians held in China, which you are already aware of.
According to a statement that was released by China’s ministry of foreign affairs, Wang reportedly told Wong that relations have “stabilized, improved, and developed” as a result of the collaborative efforts of both countries.
According to media, Wang also reaffirmed Beijing’s demand that Canberra provide “a fair, just, and non-discriminatory” economic environment so that Chinese companies can invest and operate in Australia.