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China levies tariffs of up to 212% on Australian wine imports

Chinese regulators announced Friday that they will slap steep tariffs on Australian wine after preliminary evidence of dumping was found. The Commerce Department said in a statement that on Saturday, China will start imposing duties ranging between 107.1% and 212.1% on Australian wine imports.

The move poses another obstacle for Australian businesses as relations between Canberra and Beijing deteriorate.

China Advertise An investigation into some Australian wine imports in August, after a complaint from the China Wine Industry Association. Chinese regulators said at the time that they would investigate 40 allegations of unfair government support for the Australian wine sector.

The Commerce Department now says it has confirmed cases of dumping “causing material damage” to China’s domestic wine industry.

China is by far the largest importer of Australian wine, according to the Wine Australia trade organization backed by The country’s government. In the most recent fiscal year, which ended in September, mainland China alone accounted for 39% of all Australian wine exports by value. He said.
“This is a devastating blow to those companies that trade with China in the wine industry,” said Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham. He said At a press conference on Friday. “We believe it is not justified, and without evidence to support it.”
Australia upset China this year by calling for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic. Beijing later targeted Canberra over trade, specifically by suspending some beef imports and imposing prohibitive tariffs on barley.
In August, Australia Blocked effectively Selling a dairy company to a Chinese company when an official said the acquisition “would go against the national interest”. This work, Lion Dairy, is Sold now To Australian firm Bega Cheese instead, in a deal valued at A $ 560 million ($ 413 million), the two companies announced this week.
The wine tariff comes just days after Australia and China signed the Great business deal It is called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Some analysts suggested that the agreement could help the two countries rebuild ties.

Birmingham said Australia would challenge the tariffs, including by raising the issue with the World Trade Organization.

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“The cumulative effect of the trade sanctions imposed by China on a number of Australian industries during this year has led to the perception that these measures are taking a result or in response to some other factors,” he told reporters.

China targets Australian wine again as trade tensions escalate

The Chinese government has defended its approach. The Ministry of Commerce confirmed in its statement on Friday that its investigations were conducted “in strict accordance with relevant Chinese laws and regulations and the rules of the World Trade Organization.”

China recently admitted to the strained relationship – but made it clear where it thought the finger should be pointed. Last week, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry He said Australia must bear responsibility for the “sharp downturn” in relations between the two countries.

“The responsibility for causing this situation is absolutely not on China,” said the spokesman, Zhao Lijian, at a press briefing.

“[They] Then it took a series of wrong moves regarding China, which is the root cause of the Sino-Australian relations in a sharp downturn and got stuck in the current difficult situation. “

Shanshan Wang contributed to this report.

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