Caixin
Jun 19, 2021 07:50 PM

Australia to Refer China to WTO Over Wine Tariffs

What’s new: Australia is taking China to the global trade arbiter over anti-dumping duties on its wines.

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said he had consulted with Australian winemakers, and will refer China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for dispute resolution to vigorously defend their interests.

“Australia’s use of the WTO in this matter is consistent with its previous use of the WTO and aligns with our support for the rules-based trading system,” Tehan said in a joint statement with Agriculture minister David Littleproud on Saturday.

“Australia remains open to engaging directly with China to resolve this issue,” the statement said.

The background: Beijing announced in March that it would impose tariffs of more than 200% on the country’s wines for five years, formalizing measures that had been in place for months amid an increasingly fraught relationship with Canberra.

Levies of between 116.2% and 218.4% which came into effect on March 28 have priced many Australian brands out of the market. Duties on Treasury Wine Estates, Australia’s largest listed winemaker best known for its Penfolds brand, were set at 175.6%.

The wine tariffs followed similar measures on other Australian goods such as barley, and have led many brands to seek out new markets beyond the Asian powerhouse.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Related: China Sets Duties on Australian Wine for Five Years as Ties Sour

Contact reporter Flynn Murphy (flynnmu@caixin.com)

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