Australia targets vaccine nationalism and carbon tariffs on the European tour
In the high-stakes talks that will begin on Monday, Australia will call on the EU to lift restrictions on vaccine exports and cancel a plan to introduce carbon tariffs on imports outside the bloc.
Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan has told the Financial Times that he will warn European members of the dangers of entry. protectionist measures because the world wants to bounce back from a recession caused by coronavirus.
It will also seek to revive talks on the Australia-UK free trade agreement, as concerns over the opening of the London market to Australian farm imports have stalled.
“Eventually, the world will go backwards if protectionism spreads after this Covid-19 pandemic,” said Tehan, who will meet in Germany, France, Brussels and London in the coming days.
“I think now we all need to strengthen and all we do should take a liberalizing approach rather than a protectionist approach.”
Canberra has blamed the EU for the delays caused by the 3m dose of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, which has severely disrupted the country’s inoculation program. It has also undermined Australia’s efforts to distribute vaccines Papua New GuineaPacific neighbor Covid-19 suffers a deadly wave.
Tehan said in an interview that “vaccine nationalism” made a global effort to deal with the “mild” and difficult-to-plan pandemic. Canberra wanted to discuss with the EU and the World Trade Organization how countries can do it work together to boost vaccine production.
Brussels has said it was alone has blocked only one submission AstraZeneca vaccinated 250,000 doses to Australia because the company failed to meet its contractual obligations with the EU. He refused to play a role in suspending the export of 3m vaccines to Australia.
However, Tehan said Brussels had sent signals to AstraZeneca that further requests to export vaccines outside the bloc would be rejected.
“They have [AstraZeneca] It encouraged us not to apply which means we thought we had hired 3mn doses that didn’t get here in Australia, ”he said.
He added that the New Zealand trade minister had called him on the phone saying he could also speak out in favor of Wellington, saying “vaccine nationalism” would harm the entire Pacific region.
Tehan will also use his first trip to Europe as trade minister to leave plans to lobby his counterparts carbon limit adjustment mechanism. The scheme aims to increase the cost of imports from non-EU countries that do not meet the Paris climate goals or are committed to zero zero emissions. Proponents have said it is essential to prevent “carbon emissions,” so an attempt to reduce emissions by a nation encourages the use of fossil fuels elsewhere.
Canberra, du he refused to commit With zero net emissions by 2050, it is concerned about the measures that may affect Australian exporters.
“Carbon limit tariffs will be used as a protectionist measure and that is not in anyone’s interest,” said Tehan, who defended the Australian environmental record, adding that it has met its targets under the Kyoto and Paris climate agreements.
“We should look at very positive ways to deal with this through liberalization and reducing tariffs on environmental goods and services, rather than setting additional tariffs.”
Tehan said he also wanted to advance talks on a free trade agreement with the UK has failed the goal of the previous agreement by the end of 2020.
He said negotiators need to be more ambitious and go beyond discussions about animal welfare standards, which is a big problem. access to open Australian farm products for the UK market
“What we want to be sure of is that a free trade agreement is really about liberalizing access to the agricultural market, rather than discussing who has achieved the best standards,” he added.
“Given the current structures of both economies, in many ways the UK’s full liberalization of goods and services benefits more than Australia.”