By ROD McGUIRK
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — China is lifting a stifling 3-year-old tariff on Australian barley in a sign of an improving bilateral trade relationship since Australia’s government changed. China effectively closed its door to Australian barley in May 2020 by imposing an 80.5% tariff after the previous Australian government angered Beijing by calling for an independent inquiry into the origins of, and responses to, the COVID-19 pandemic. Both governments on Friday confirmed the resumption starting Saturday of trade in the grain that had been worth over $600 million in the year before China blocked imports. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese welcomed the breakthrough, which comes as he plans his first visit to Beijing as government leader before the end of the year.