Australia refers China to WTO over wine tariffs

Australian Grape & Wine (AGW) has welcomed the announcement that the Australian Government will initiate the dispute settlement process at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in response to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s decision to impose duties on Australian wine imports in March 2021.

“We believe the Australian Government’s decision to initiate this process is the right call for Australia’s grape and wine businesses,” said Tony Battaglene, AGW chief executive.

“As an export-focused industry, Australia’s grape growers and winemakers have benefited enormously from the rules-based international trading system, with the WTO at its core.

“In taking this decision, the Australian Government is demonstrating its commitment to Australia’s grape and wine businesses and respecting the rules-based international trading system.

“We have been consistent in our position that Australian producers have not dumped wine on the Chinese market, nor received trade-distorting subsidies. We believe the Australian Government’s decision to ask the WTO to undertake an independent assessment of the facts is the right course to take.

“While this process is underway, we’ll keep working with grape growers, winemakers and the Australian Government, to diversify our export markets and strengthen relationships as much as possible with all trading partners, including China.”

The ABC reports that it is the second time in six months Australia has called in the WTO after the former trade minister Simon Birmingham referred China to the WTO in December for the crippling tariffs applied to the barley trade.


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