Some international trade ministers have been ‘‘paralysed’’ in the tense global trade environment, Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo says.
And a free-trade deal with India has stalled because the two sides are too far apart, especially over grain exports.
In a speech to the Australian Grains Industry conference in Melbourne, Mr Ciobo said Australia was getting new trade deals done while other countries seemed transfixed.
‘‘Over the last year or so, global trade policy developments have made more headlines than is probably desirable,’’ he said on Wednesday.
‘‘Some commentators — and even some of my counterparts from other nations — seem paralysed by the spectacle.’’
Mr Ciobo said Australia was trying to do a free-trade deal with India to help meet growing demand for food on the sub-continent.
‘‘Australian farm exporters to India have been whacked with a range of new trade distortions over the past year,’’ Mr Ciobo said.
‘‘These are profoundly disappointing developments.
‘‘The Turnbull Government has expressed its concerns to the Indian government at the highest levels in the clearest possible terms.’’
Ms Ciobo said he met with Indian Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu in June to say India had nothing to fear from Australian producers.
‘‘The truth is India’s demand for food products, including grains and pulses, will outstrip supply by a wide margin,’’ he said.
‘‘Unfortunately, those negotiations have been stalled because our positions have been too far apart.’’
Mr Ciobo also said Australia was assessing the impact of the United States’ decision to throw billions of dollars at farmers after they were hurt by the US trade war.
‘‘Escalating tariffs is a vicious cycle,’’ he said.