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Australia: taking China to WTO over wine tariffs enables negotiations

CommoditiesJun 20, 2021 12:45AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bottles of Australian wine are seen at a store selling imported wine in Beijing, China November 27, 2020. REUTERS/Florence Lo

By Lidia Kelly

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's complaint to the World Trade Organisation over China's anti-dumping duties on wine exports should enable bilateral negotiations, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Sunday.

The government filed a complaint on Saturday over duties that were applied last year and nearly wiped out exports of Australian wine to the Chinese market. [L5N2O103C]

"What lodging the dispute enables us to do is begin dispute consultation settlements, which actually is a bilateral discussion with China about the issues," Payne said in an interview on the Australian Broadcasting Corp's (ABC) 'Insiders' program.

"We've seen duties of over 200% applied to Australian wine. We don't believe that that is consistent with China's obligations under the WTO. So that part of the process enables us to have that direct conversation."

The Australian government has complained frequently that China has ignored calls to ease trade tensions.

It is the second time in six months Australia has appealed to the WTO. In December, Canberra launched a formal appeal seeking a review of China's decision to impose hefty tariffs on imports of Australian barley.

Relations with China, already rocky after Australia banned Huawei from its nascent 5G broadband networking in 2018, have worsened since Canberra called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, first reported in central China last year.

China, Australia's largest trading partner, responded by imposing tariffs on Australian commodities, including wine and barley and limited imports of Australian beef, coal and grapes, moves described by the United States as "economic coercion".

Asked about the fresh international push to find answers to the origin of the virus that causes COVID-19, Payne said it was important to maintain the momentum.

"We are very determined to work with our partners to ensure that (...) investigation is able to access its material that it needs, including within China," Payne said.

Australia: taking China to WTO over wine tariffs enables negotiations
 

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Comments (4)
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 21, 2021 2:00AM ET
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weng.. david9... supporters of slave Labour camps and genocide. apologists of China's leaders, who are arrogant thieves and liers that need to be arrested for Crimes against humanity. China a country without honor. China a paranoid bully weak and corrupt.
Zerox Weng
Zerox Weng Jun 20, 2021 5:48AM ET
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Australia is too smart to follow their big brotherThey should expect this is the consequences.
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Jun 20, 2021 4:41AM ET
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The world needs to act as ONE on this. China has zero right as a member of the WTO and other trade organizations to behave like a bull in the China shop, no pun intended. Rules must be applied even-handedly. Forget the opinion bots roaming this website.
David David
David9 Jun 20, 2021 4:41AM ET
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The world will not stand with them because they were wrong. They listen to the US without thinking....
David David
David9 Jun 20, 2021 12:59AM ET
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Austrialia is not so smart... they need to admit what they did wrong and apologized before China will get back to them...
Benz Jang
Benz Jang Jun 20, 2021 12:59AM ET
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New Zealand's PM is smarter
Ad Cline
Ad Cline Jun 20, 2021 12:59AM ET
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China has learned how to treat its minorities and it's neighbors from the Japanese empire of the 1930s.
 
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