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Hockey Says China's New Coal Tariffs Are Protectionist

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey.

China’s new coal tariffs come into play on Wednesday, something both Australia’s struggling sector and Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey are not looking forward to.

Commenting on the import tariffs at a G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Washington, Hockey said the new levies on coal are an example of protectionist policy.

The Australian reported Hockey said after a closed meeting, “We do not want to get caught in a spiral of protectionism.”

“There was a discussion about that in the IMF, and I raised the issue of newly imposed tariffs being placed on our coal as a direct result of the fact that we have reduced the cost of production, so much so that we are taking market share from China in their own market,” he said.

The Federal government is currently in the throws of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with China – a deal Prime Minister Tony Abbott hopes to be completed before the G20 meeting in November.

China announced last week it will impose a 3% tariff on coking coal and a 6% tariff on thermal coal from October 15.

However, due to an FTA with China, Indonesia, one of Australia’s coal market competitors, will be exempt from the levies. More on that here.

There’s more here.

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