Trade dispute between Australia and China: Canberra plans to involve the WTO
The photo taken on December 5, 2020 shows the cherry-based wine in the town of Young in Australia. The town of Young is nicknamed the “Cherry Capital of Australia”.
Chu Chen | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
Australia is questioning whether it should involve the World Trade Organization in an ongoing dispute with China, Trade Minister Dan Tehan told CNBC on Wednesday.
Chinese Ministry of Commerce in March anti-dumping tariffs announced between 116.2% and 218.4% on Australian wine imports – measures expected to last for five years. Last year it launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of wine from Australia and introduces preliminary rights.
Separately, China levied additional temporary tariffs of around 6.3% to 6.4% in December, following a different investigation into Australia’s wine subsidy programs.
“We have worked closely with the Australian wine industry to understand the harm caused by the measures taken by China,” Tehan, who is also Minister of Tourism and Investment, told CNBC “Squawk Box Asia. “
“We will make an announcement on whether we will go to the WTO on wine in the coming weeks,” he said.
Tehan reiterated Australia’s call to engage in dialogue with China to resolve outstanding issues – something other Australian officials have echoed in the past.
“I wrote to my Chinese counterpart,” he said, explaining that Canberra wanted a constructive relationship with Beijing. “So far I haven’t had a response to this correspondence, but I hope we can sit down and resolve these issues. Dialogue is the best way to resolve issues.”
“We are always looking for other opportunities that we can exploit, whether through our existing business partners or by opening new avenues to explore,” he added.