Australia has officially filed a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over tariffs imposed by Beijing on Australian wines, the government announced on Saturday (June 19th).
The complaint follows intensive consultations with Australian wine producers, the government said, which said it was open to direct negotiations with China to resolve the issue.
The move is a further step in the trade dispute between Australia and its major trading partner and follows warnings from Prime Minister Scott Morrison about his government’s willingness to respond to all countries that attempt to make use of “Economic coercion” against him.
Reprisals against the refusal of Chinese investments
It also comes after a summit of the seven most industrialized countries, the G7, in Great Britain, where Australia had called for a firmer stance on China’s trade practices.
Beijing has imposed economic sanctions on a range of Australian products in recent months, including tariffs on agricultural products, coal, or wine, as well as measures targeting tourism.
Many in Australia believe that they are above all retaliation against the refusal of Chinese investments in sectors deemed strategic and against Australia’s calls for an investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 epidemic, which began in China at the end of 2019. Australia has already lodged a complaint against China with the WTO for tariffs on its barley exports.