The US has strongly criticised China’s decision to impose economic sanctions on Australia’s agricultural sector.
Beijing is angry the federal government has secured an inquiry into COVID-19.
Since then China has imposed an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley, and is threatening to increase taxes on other products.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the move is reprehensible.
“The Chinese Communist Party chose to threaten Australia with economic retribution for the simple act of asking for an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus; it’s not right,” he says.
“We stand with Australia and the more than 120 nations now who have taken up the American call for an inquiry into the origins of the virus so we can understand what went wrong.”
President Trump further criticised China in a series of tweets, describing their handling of the outbreak as incompetent.