Coat of arms

Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Senator for South Australia

Media Release
15 July 2020

COVID-19 inquiry to examine exports

A parliamentary inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s defence, trade and international relations will turn its attention to Australia’s export sector in a public hearing tomorrow.

Senator David Fawcett, Chair of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, says many sectors of the export industry have been hit hard by COVID-19 although Government support to ensure freight capacity remains available has enabled some exports to hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong to continue.

‘Like many other sectors of the Australian economy, Australia’s exporters have struggled during the pandemic,’ Senator Fawcett said.

‘While much focus has been on supply chains that Australia draws from, it is also the case that we are a major supplier for other nations. At tomorrow’s hearing, we’ll explore what else Australia can do to support our export sector. Importantly, the Committee will explore any underlying weaknesses in global supply and export systems the pandemic has revealed.  In particular, the Committee will assess how the nation can enhance its role as a supplier of choice in resilient and transparent supply chains for critical goods and services with like-minded nations.’

Witnesses from the Export Council of Australia and the University of Western Australia’s Perth USAsia Centre will talk about the trade and economic impacts of the COVID pandemic on Australian businesses and about how Australia can support its export sector during and after the pandemic.

Full terms of reference for the inquiry are on the Committee website. Submissions can be made until 17 July 2020.

Public hearing details

Date: Thursday 16 July
Time: 3.00 pm – 4.30 pm AEST
Location: By teleconference

The hearings will be audio streamed live at