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Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says Australia should consider "decoupling" trade relations with the current Chinese communist regime once the coronavirus pandemic is over.
China is Australia's largest two-way trading partner in terms of goods and services, accounting for 26 per cent of the nation's trade according to figures released by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Prior to coronavirus crisis, two-way trade reached a record $235 billion in 2018–19, which is up over 20 per cent from the previous year.
Ms Fierravanti-Wells told Sky News the pandemic should encourage businesses and governments alike to diversify their trade network. “This whole pandemic has demonstrated to us the precarious nature of our supply chains,” she said. “To have over 25 per cent of our trade eggs in one basket with this communist regime demonstrates to us that it’s time for us to reconsider those supply chains that are so vital to medical, pharmaceutical and all of those issues.” “Therefore I think the time has come where we need to look at this dependency that we seem to have on China, especially for goods which I think could be made in Australia. “And that’s hopefully one good that can come out of this.”