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Trade Minister refuses to place tariffs on China despite waiting by the phone

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has denied calls to place further import tariffs on Chinese products, fearing a trade war escalation.

Despite demands for retaliation from NSW Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Mr Birmingham told Deborah Knight he isn’t interested in getting into a “tit-for-tat” with China.

“I don’t think that’s a particularly helpful idea.

“In the end, what we don’t want to do is create some sort of ongoing trade war.

“We have a trade agreement with China that has yielded benefits for Australians … we have a significant trade surplus.

“We want to make sure we continue to have a relationship that looks to the more positive areas where it is mutually beneficial.”

However, Chinese officials are still refusing to answer the Trade Minister’s phone calls, he confirmed.

“The ball sits in their court.”

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Image: Getty