Australia takes wine dispute with China to WTO


Australian winemakers shipped only 12 million Australian dollars (US $ 9 million) worth of wine to China during the four months of December to March, up from A $ 325 million (US $ 243 million) a year earlier, according to demonstrated industry data, confirming that new tariffs have been strong. all, however, ended their largest export market.

The decision to commence a dispute resolution process announced on Saturday was given the greenlight following extensive consultation with Australian wine makers, Trade Minister Dan Tehan said.

"Australia remains open to contacting China directly to resolve this issue", Tehan and Littleproud said in a statement.

Australia is taking its fight with China over wine tariffs to the worldwide trading body because of the "serious harm" caused to the industry.

"We have been consistent in our position that Australian producers have not dumped wine on the Chinese market, nor received trade-distorting subsidies", he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's vocal push for an global inquiry into the origins of Covid in 2020, eventually backed by 120 countries, caused tensions to rise between China and Australia.

Industry data shows that in the four months from December to March last year, Australian winemakers only exported 12 million Australian dollars (9 million USA dollars) of wine to China, compared with 325 million Australian dollars (243 million United States dollars) in the same period last year.

Australia has already taken Beijing to the WTO over its tariffs on Australian barley.

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Australia is now progressing a WTO action Beijing's decision to slap 80 percent tariffs on barley exports, the action has been joined by Canada, Russia, and more recently New Zealand.

But Mr Tehan said the government was still willing to sit down with the Chinese government to resolve the dispute.

The action also came just days after a summit of the G7 grouping of advanced economies that echoed Australia's call for a tougher stand against China's trade practices and more assertive stance globally.

The group promised to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries.

The B3W was seen as aimed squarely at competing with China's efforts, which has been widely criticised for saddling small countries with unmanageable debt.

"The most practical way to resolve economic coercion is to restore the binding dispute settlement system of the global trade agency", he said in a speech before the summit.

"If the coercive behavior has no consequences, then there is very little motivation to restrain", he said.