Australia is fighting with China over wine tariffs with the international trade body because of “serious damage” to the industry.
The federal government has approached the World Trade Organization to request consultations with the Chinese government on the matter.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan said exports had risen from $ 1.1 billion to around $ 20 million due to the Chinese government’s tariffs on the country’s wine.
“We believe that the measures taken by the Chinese government have caused serious damage to the Australian wine industry,” he said.
But Mr. Tehan said the government is still willing to sit down with the Chinese government to resolve the dispute.
âAlthough we are not in a position to do so, we will use all other mechanisms to try to resolve this dispute and other disputes that we have with the Chinese government,â he said.
In March of this year, Beijing said the tariffs would be in effect for five years.
The national association of grape and wine producers welcomed the decision to take the fight to the international body.
The decision was the “right call” for the country’s grape and wine companies, Australian Grape and Wine boss Tony Battaglene said the decision was the right call.
“We have been consistent in our position that Australian producers have not sold wine into the Chinese market or received trade-distorting subsidies,” he said.
He said the organization will continue to work with wine growers, winegrowers and the government to diversify the export market.