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Peter Walsh MP:
China Trade Barriers Hurting Victorian Farmers

Labor Government stood still with Belt and Road deal despite punitive import suspensions.

By Portal Admin - 22nd November 2020 - Back to News

Victorian food and fibre has been left stranded by Chinas sudden, punitive import suspensions, but the Andrews Labor Government still stood by its controversial Belt and Road deal today.

Today in State Parliament Trade Minister Martin Pakula was asked to explain the benefits of the Andrews Labor Governments controversial Belt and Road deal with China despite the trade suspension.

Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said Labors decision to continue to stand by the deal showed it wasnt putting Victorian farmers first.

"The dodgy Belt and Road deal is all one-way traffic thats delivering no benefit to Victoria," Mr Walsh said.

"The Chinese Communist Government is running roughshod over Victorian producers, yet the Andrews Labor Government refuses to withdraw from its deal that hands billions of dollars of Victorian business to China."

Mr Walsh said farmers were being thrown under the bus by a Government that was more interested in childish politics than the best interests of Victorian producers.

Despite the trade suspension, Labors Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes claimed today the Belt and Road was a "strong platform to engage with China" that "provides Victoria a seat at the table".

"When the Andrews Labor Government went against Federal Government advice and signed Belt and Road it claimed it would open trade opportunities for Victorian farmers," Mr Walsh said.

"The MOU promises "trade development and market accessespecially for agricultural products" but thats not coming through in practice.

"Given the Chinese Communist Government is now reducing market access for this states agricultural products, the Government should be standing up for Victorian farmers and Victorian jobs by tearing up its Belt and Road agreement."


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