Australia is under pressure to impose sanctions on Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses and follow the lead of several other western nations.
Why is Australia staying silent?
It comes after Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a declaration that his country should join the US and “develop a best practice targeted sanctions regime.”
However, six months on from this announcement, and the Australian government is yet to pass such laws, and remains non-committal.
Natasha Kassam from the Lowy Institute says that “perhaps the Australian government is concerned about causing even more friction to a relationship that seems to get described at a new rock-bottom on a monthly basis.”
In March, the US, the European Union, the UK. and Canada enacted new laws to sanction Chinese officials involved in alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang
“The Prime Minister doesn’t have a plan”
Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young told Ticker News she believes the PM doesn’t have a plan when it comes to dealing with China.
Hanson-Young says there’s a huge human rights issues in China, “I think about those, the wages and the camps. I think this is just horrific.“
Hanson-Young says Morrison is “very knee jerk in relation to China”
Is Australia putting “too many trading eggs” in China’s basket?
Hanson-Young says “obviously it’s a very difficult issue, and it’s very difficult to thread the needle when we’ve invested so much in China as a trading partner, and probably too much.”
“We put too much of our eggs, trading eggs into China and we needed to be diversifying years ago.”
“That is starting to happen in certain commodities but not across the board. And so there is still a big need for China to be trading with Australia.
Will China agree to a minimum corporate tax rate?
In the wake of G7 member nations agreeing to a minimum global corporate tax rate, there are concerns over China’s willingness to take part.
More than 100 countries will need to agree on the new framework which will impact multinational companies, seeing these corporations taxed at least 15 percent.
Although China already has a corporate tax rate of 25 percent, there are numerous exemptions for most companies, which brings the rate well below the proposed 15 percent.
If Beijing refuses to adopt the agreement, leaders from wealthy nations worry it will be difficult to achieve wider global acceptance.
Wall street soars, investors countdown key Fed meeting.
Investors appear to be buying what the Federal Reserve is selling at the minute, that is they’re shrugging off those pesky inflation concerns.
The Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit fresh record-highs ahead of the Fed meeting this week.
VFS Group’s James Whelan says there’s one key question in all of this.
“Will the Fed care about the market reaction? That’s the playbook for the next six months. Inflation, Fed response, market response to the Fed, and then will the market actually care? We’ve had four years of the Fed caring about everything the market did.”JAMES WHELAN, VFS GROUP
The four years Whelan’s referring to are the Donald Trump years, where the former President often boasted of how strongly Wall Street performed.
But not everyone trusts the central bank right now, billionaire hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones is cynical.
“He (Tudor) called the stock market crash in ’87. History is on his side for calling big things. He’s saying if he doesn’t see any sort of commentary from the Fed this week, he’s going all-in on every inflationary hedge there is”DANIEL WEINER, MARKET STRATEGIST
Expectations remain that the central bank will hold tight, and keep pace with their bond purchases.
James King of AFEX says the amount of stimulus that’s entered the market over the last 18 months is extraordinary.
“The last 18 months or so there’s been a meteoric rise in the Fed’s balance sheet. From four trillion dollars to almost eight trillion dollars in an 18 month period”
The next update is due Wednesday US time, and all investors will be watching.
The nation part of the first trade deal since Brexit
The broad terms of a trade deal between the UK and Australia have been agreed on.
The Australian Prime Minister had a working dinner with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street last night, with a formal announcement expected on Tuesday.
According to the BBC, the meal served up to the pair on Monday evening included Welsh lamb and Scottish smoked salmon, and was washed down with Australian wine.
It is the first trade deal to be negotiated from scratch since the UK left the EU.
The new deal is expected to give UK and Australian food producers and other businesses easier access to each other’s markets.
However, the leaders were initially stuck on several issues, including a plan by the British to add tariffs to Australian farming imports for the next ten years.
Behind the scenes, bureaucrats have been working frantically to reach a deal, and now both leaders are believed to have made concessions.
The new trade deal is expected to give UK and Australian food producers and other businesses easier access to each other’s markets.
According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), Australian farmers are able to produce beef at a lower cost of production, and could undercut farmers in the UK.
Australia’s top 10 export markets
Australia’s biggest export products by value in 2020 were iron, coal, petroleum gases, gold and aluminium. In aggregate, those major exports account for 63.1% of overall exports sales from Australia.
The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Australian global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Australia.
- Ores, slag, ash: US$91.3 billion (35.9% of total exports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $65.4 billion (25.7%)
- Gems, precious metals: $19.6 billion (7.7%)
- Meat: $10.4 billion (4.1%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $5.2 billion (2%)
- Machinery including computers: $4.4 billion (1.7%)
- Cereals: $3.8 billion (1.5%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $3.4 billion (1.4%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $3.1 billion (1.2%)
- Aluminum: $3.1 billion (1.2%)
Australian future unclear for detained family of asylum seekers
A family of Tamil asylum seekers detained on Christmas Island since 2019 will be reunited in Australia.
The Murugappan family have been separated as youngest daughter Tharnicaa undergoes treatment in a Perth hospital, but their long-term future in Australia remains unclear.
“Today’s decision releases the family from held detention and facilitates ongoing treatment, while they pursue ongoing litigation before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Court and High Court.”Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement.
“Importantly, today’s decision does not create a pathway to a visa.”
WA Health had requested they be reunited while she receives treatment.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the move but it remains unknown if they will be granted new visas.
The family were removed from their home in Biloela in 2018 when their visas expired.
The family has been separated for more than a week after Tharnicaa and her mother were flown from Christmas Island to Perth.
Three-year-old Tharnicaa is believed to have developed a blood infection while in detention on Christmas Island.
“This is not ok, it needs to end”
Last week Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young told Ticker News “This is just not ok and it needs to end”
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