After China imposed huge tariffs on Australian wine, the country has promised to “vigorously defend” its wine industry. This was said by the country’s minister for agriculture, drought and emergency management David Littleproud.
China imposed import tariffs of as much as more than 200 per cent on over allegations of dumping of Australian wine in the country and the country’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Friday that the new tariffs is applicable from March 28.
“While China … may want to play games with respect to market mechanisms, we have the opportunities to send this product into other markets because of the quality of it,” Littleproud said.
According to China, Australia was engaged in dumping and subsidizing its wine exports in to the Chinese market which resulted in losses for the domestic wine sector of China.
“We’re just deeply disappointed with this decision, and we don’t subsidize our farmers,” Littleproud said. “Of the 37 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries in the world, there’s only one country that is seen to subsidize their farmers less than Australia,” he said without providing further details.
“Australian wine is the second highest price point wine in China,” the minister said. “You don’t go and dump a high quality product … into a market such as China.”
‘We want to be mature about this and when they’re ready to talk … on the basis of what we’ve provided to them, then we’ll be there for them. But until they’re prepared to do that, it’ll be very difficult,’ he added.
Australia was vociferous in supporting calls for an international inquiry into China’s handling of the coronavirus which resulted in deterioration of relations between the two countries. The first reported outbreak of Covid-19 infections in the world was from the Chinese city of Wuhan.
And since then, this disagreement has taken the shape of a trade row with China imposing a range of measures that impede Australia’s exports to the country. Chinese authorities have imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on Australian barley while also imposing an import ban on several red meat abattoirs. Australian exports to China of Lobsters, cotton, coal and iron ore have also been targeted by Beijing as a part of that retaliation.
The trade balance between Australia and China is tilted towards Australia and it is among the very few developed countries that exports more than it imports from China. Australia has already approached the World Trade Organization to mediate on a dispute over duties imposed on the import of barley from Australia to China.
He has got in touch with his counterpart in China asking for dialogue, Littleproud said.
“We’re not gonna throw our toys out of the cot. We want to be mature about this and when they’re ready to talk … on the basis of what we’ve provided to them, then we’ll be there for them. But until they’re prepared to do that, it’ll be very difficult,” he said.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)