AUSTRALIA REJECTS CHINA'S STEEL & WIND PRODUCTS FOR WINES PROPOSAL
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: Hermes Rivera/Unsplash
China has demanded Australia to drop its anti-dumping decisions on Chinese wind towers, railway wheels and stainless steel sinks in exchange for China’s lifting of punitive tariffs on Australian wines.
Australia has initially rejected the demand and said they will continue their pursuit concerning wines through World Trade Organisation (WTO).
China’s official Xinhua News Agency last Thursday quoted commerce ministry spokesperson He Yadong as saying that Beijing has proposed a packaged deal to Australia to end the dispute on wine tariffs.
“We are willing to meet the Australian side halfway, further enhance mutual trust and cooperate on the basis of the settlement of the barley case dispute,” He said.
He said both countries needed to “accommodate each other’s concerns”, including about decisions taken by the Australian anti-dumping commission on Chinese wind towers, railway wheels and stainless steel sinks.
Australia has initially rejected the proposal saying that these are separate issues and has threatened to continue its currently suspended appeal in WTO.
Australian Agriculture Minister Murray Watt told Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC): "We see them as entirely separate matters. The government wants the wine dispute resolved in the same way the barley dispute was resolved - through dialogue."
"We will continue our WTO case when it comes to wine and we will continue to defend the case when it comes to steel," Watt said.
Australian wine producers are facing a very severe wine glut, a large part of it was caused by China’s punitive tariffs since 2020 which has effectively wiped out Australian wine exports to China.
China was Australia's top wine export market before COVID, peaking at AUD1.2 billion (USD770 million) for the 12 months to January 2020 when the pandemic hit. In the first haif of this year, the trade had plunged to AUD8.1 million.
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