Australia takes wine dispute with China to WTO

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bottles of Australian wine are seen at a store selling imported wine in Beijing, China November 27, 2020. REUTERS/Florence Lo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian government said on Saturday it was lodging a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization over China’s imposition of anti-dumping duties on Australian wine exports.

“The government will continue to vigorously defend the interests of Australian wine makers using the established system in the WTO to resolve our differences,” Dan Tehan, minister for trade, tourism and investment, said in a press release.

“Australia remains open to engaging directly with China to resolve this issue.”

Australia’s diplomatic relations with China, its largest trading partner, have worsened since Canberra called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, prompting trade reprisals from Beijing.

Australian winemakers shipped just A$12 million ($9 million) of wines to China in the four months from December to March, from A$325 million a year earlier, industry figures showed, confirming that hefty new tariffs have all but wiped out their biggest export market.

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