Australia’s commerce minister threatened to take China to the World Trade Organization on Saturday over its “unjustifiable” choice to hike duties on Australian wine imports for as much as 5 years.
In the newest salvo between Beijing and Canberra, China’s commerce ministry introduced levies starting from 116.2 p.c to 218.4 p.c could be slapped on Australian wine imports from Sunday.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan stated the tariffs meant it was “basically impossible” for Australian wine to be aggressive within the Chinese market.
“This decision which has been taken by the Chinese government is extremely disappointing and completely unjustifiable,” Tehan informed reporters in Melbourne.
“We will be looking at next steps, and those next steps will include looking at taking this matter to the World Trade Organization.”
On Friday, the Chinese commerce ministry stated it was imposing the duties after an investigation discovered “dumping and subsidies on imported wines” from Australia impacted the Chinese market.
Wine exports to China hit a document A$1.3 billion (US$900 million) in 2019, in keeping with Australian authorities information, making it the most important market by worth for the product.
Late final yr, Australia additionally known as for the WTO to research Chinese tariffs on barley imports, following a sequence of financial sanctions or disruptions to Australian merchandise to China’s huge market.
Diplomatic relations between the 2 nations have reached their lowest for the reason that lethal 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Many see the sanctions as retribution for Australia blocking Chinese funding in delicate areas and publicly calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, talking in Sydney, accused Beijing of utilizing the tariffs as “retaliation”.
Morrison additionally stated Australia stood with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after China imposed sanctions on a number of individuals within the UK and EU over their vocal help for the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang, the place Beijing is accused of abuses.
“So Boris — well done, mate — we stand with you and thank you for standing with Australia as well.”
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