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Minister evades questions on China’s latest beef import ban

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Energy Minister Angus Taylor has refused to label the Chinese government’s suspension of another Australian beef importer as “retaliation”.

The action against Queensland abattoir John Dee comes hot on the heels of the Prime Minister’s announcement of new legislation designed to curb foreign interference through deals with states and universities.

“Is this just a wild coincidence Angus, or is this in retaliation to the government … trying to put Australian interests first?” Deborah Knight asked the Energy Minister.

“That’s not a question I can answer,” Mr Taylor responded.

“We want to maintain a strong trading relationship with China, but it’s important we stick to our principles as well.

“I think this will sort itself out.”

Shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon made it clear he thinks it’s no accident, especially given the abattoir is based in Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s electorate.

“You can see what’s going on here.”

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