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Trade Minister ‘fairly confident’ timing of Qatar’s trade action is coincidental

Article image for Trade Minister ‘fairly confident’ timing of Qatar’s trade action is coincidental

The timing of Qatar’s cancellation of a trade deal with Australia worth $300 million annually is purely coincidental, the Trade Minister says.

The Qatari government’s subsidy of lamb imports has been ditched in favour of a market-led approach, abruptly forcing Australian producers into competition.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham assured the policy change is not a ban, new tax or tariff, and is unrelated to backlash over the violation of Australian women at Doha airport.

“We’re fairly confident in this, that it’s something Qatar have actually been … working on for two years; it well and truly predates this incident,” he told Jim Wilson.

“When these things occur, people will sometimes look to the coincidence and seek to join the dots.”

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Jim Wilson
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