AUSSIE FM: WINE WILL BE NEXT AS END TO BARLEY DISPUTE WITH CHINA IS IN SIGHT
By Susan Lewis
Source: Senator for SA/Facebook
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said she will attempt to remove the punitive tariffs placed on Australian wines by China after having moved one step closer to resolving issues over barley exports to China.
The Australian government confirmed yesterday that it has withdrawn its dispute to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over barley exports to China, in return China will launch a three-month review of the duties.
Wong said the retreat from the WTO application would “expedite” the removal of trade impediments, as she flagged using the same tactic to resolve similar concerns in other industries.
“Obviously there’s still a way to go, so I’m not going to come on your show and say it’s all fixed because it isn’t,” Wong told Sky News Australia.
“We’ve still got a way to go but we are seeking to have a pathway to clear that impediment and if that works then we will work to apply that to other Australian products."
“Probably the next one I would want to look at is wine,” she added.
Australia’s wine exports to China were almost wiped out after Beijing slapped up to 218 percent of punitive tariffs. The trade shrunk from AUD1.3 billion (USD872.5 million) in 2019 to only AUD12m in 2022.
The wine sector has been reeling since the duties were imposed but soon followed many other affected industries in diversifying their export markets.
It is estimated that China’s trade sanctions on Australian exports cost producers aboout AUD20b a year.
Wong stressed that while the relationship with Beijing is improving, Australian producers still need to look beyond just China.
“Making sure that we diversify our export markets is an important part of our national resilience,” she said.
(the writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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