Chinese regulators announced Friday that they would impose heavy tariffs on Australian wines after finding preliminary evidence of dumping. Starting Saturday, China will begin slapping duties of between 107.1% and 212.1% on Australian wine imports, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.
The move places yet another hurdle in front of Australian businesses as relations worsen between Canberra and Beijing.
The Commerce Ministry now says it has confirmed cases of dumping, “causing material damage” to the domestic wine industry in China.
Birmingham said that Australia would challenge the tariffs, including by potentially raising the issue with the World Trade Organization.
“The cumulative impact of China’s trade sanctions against a number of Australian industries during the course of this year does give rise to the perception these actions are being undertaken as a result or in response to some other factors,” he told reporters.
The Chinese government has defended its approach. In its statement Friday, the Commerce Ministry emphasized that its investigations were conducted “in strict accordance with relevant Chinese laws and regulations and WTO rules.”
“The responsibility for causing this situation doesn’t lie with China at all,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a news briefing.
“[They] have subsequently taken a series of wrong moves related to China, which is at the root cause of China-Australia relations taking a sharp downturn and stuck in the current difficult situation.”
— Shanshan Wang contributed to this report.
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