Australia takes wine dispute with China to WTO

Australia takes wine dispute with China to WTO
China has accused Australia of illegal "dumping" practices. Source: Getty Images
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Australia said it will file a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) after China imposed up to 218% tariffs on its wine last year.

China says the tariffs were increased because of trading malpractice, but Australia denies the accusation.

Australia says it remains open to engaging directly with Beijing to resolve the issue.

China is the top market for Australian wine exports and wineries say they have been hardly hit by the hikes.

The Australian government said in a statement that the decision to take the dispute to the WTO was made after extensive consultation with winemakers.

Dan Tehan, minister for trade, tourism and investment, said: “The government will continue to vigorously defend the interests of Australian winemakers using the established system in the WTO to resolve our differences.”

Tony Battaglene, who is CEO of Australia’s national association of grape and wine producers, said taking the issue to the WTO was the right way to try to resolve this even though there was “no quick fix”.

He said: “The main thing about a World Trade Organization action is that you actually get into a dialogue with the other country – in this case China – so it does enable governments to start to talk about [the issue and] that brings the possibility of resolution.”

China accuses Australia of a trade practice called dumping, which is not legal in international trade law.

Dumping is when a country exports a product to another country at a price that is lower than it normally charges in its domestic market. The goal is to increase its market share in the foreign country and drive out competition.

The two countries are important trading partners for each other but diplomatic relations between them have worsened since Australia called for an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19.

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