The Federal Government is becoming “increasingly concerned” about the escalating trade war with Beijing, as China moves to block imports from two Australian lamb suppliers. It comes after China’s General Administration of Customs yesterday revealed applications and registration for beef exports from beef supplier Meramist had been suspended from December 7. They did not say why. Meramist was the sixth supplier in 2020 to be blocked from selling to China. Earlier in the year, Beijing slapped sanctions on barley after they claimed it had been subsidised by the Federal Government and “dumped” on the Chinese market by farmers at lower prices. Last month, a tariff of more than 200 per cent on Australian wine was also enforced. And today, two Victorian lamb suppliers — JBS Brooklyn and Australian Lamb Company — have been reportedly blocked from exporting to Beijing. Both suppliers were shut because of a self-reported COVID-19 outbreak but now that they are re-opened, are still banned from selling to China. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham fronted the Senate in Parliament House on Wednesday over the “disruptions” to Australian agriculture. “The Australian government has become increasingly concerned about a series of trade-disruptive and restrictive measures implemented by the Chinese government on a wide range of goods imported from China and that these disruptions have increased significantly in recent months,” he said. “The targeted nature of Chinese government (sanctions) on Australian goods raises concerns about China’s adherence to the letter and spirit of both its China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and World Trade Organisation obligations.” Senator Birmingham said the sanctions were “potentially discriminatory” against Australia, given similar actions were not being taken against beef and lamb suppliers in the US — where COVID has run rampant. “The Australian Government is considering all dispute settlement options in order to support our exporters and ensure they can compete on fair terms,” he said.