Australia takes wine dispute with China to WTO

Australia Takes China Wine Tariffs to WTO as Bilateral Ties Sour

Australian winemakers shipped just 12 million Australian dollars (US$9m) of wines to China in the four months from December to March, from 325 million Australian dollars (US$243m) a year earlier, industry figures showed, confirming that hefty new tariffs have all but wiped out their biggest export market.

Australia has officially sued China before the World Trade Organization (WTO) over tariffs imposed by Beijing on its wines, the government announced this Saturday (19).

"Australia is still willing to approach China directly to resolve this issue", Tehan and Littleproud said in their press release.

The move is another step in a trade dispute between Australia and its key trading partner, and follows Prime Minister Scott Morrison's warnings about his government's willingness to respond to all countries trying to use it. "Economic coercion" Against him.

MOFCOM imposed the tariffs following an investigation into alleged "dumping" practices by Australian winemakers, claiming they were selling products at below-the-market prices into China to drown out local producers.

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Tehan acknowledged that the dispute process within the WTO was hard and estimated it would take two to four years for any resolution.

"While we're not in a position to do so, we will use every other mechanism to try and resolve this dispute and other disputes that we have with the Chinese government", he said.

This was mainly caused by "the toll taken by high Chinese tariffs", the document said.

The G7 summit ended on June 12 with the announcement of USA -led plans to counter China's "Road and Belt Initiative", the hallmark of its efforts to extend economic influence throughout the world. world.

The group pledged hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure investments for low- and middle-income countries Build Back Better World Project (B3W).

B3W is seen as a direct competition with China's efforts, which has been widely criticized for putting small countries on unmanageable debt.

"The most practical way to address economic coercion is to restore the world trade body's binding conflict resolution system", he said in a speech just before the summit.

"Where there are no consequences for coercive behaviour, there is little incentive for restraint", he said.

Morrison received clear support from the United States in his administration's confrontation with China, as well as from French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Paris after the G7 meeting.



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