China Hits Australian Wine Industry with 200 percent Tariff

China Hits Australian Wine Industry with 200 per cent Tariff Sparking Further Tensions on the Region.

China has released the findings into its investigation of one of Australia’s main industries and resolved to hit it with massive penalties. Its move to slap tariffs on Australian winemakers after an anti-dumping investigation will kill off the industry, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has warned.

The massive blow for Australian businesses comes after China’s Commerce Ministry accused them of flooding it with cheap wine, in an effort to skew the market. Temporary duties ranging from 107.1 per cent to 212.1 per cent will be implemented on Australian wine imports in 2L containers or less from Saturday.

Senator Birmingham said the tax would likely see Chinese consumers turn away from Australia’s high-quality wine because they will be unable to afford the price hikes. “They will have the effect of rendering largely unmarketable, unviable to the China wine industry or the Chinese wine market for Australian producers,” Senator Birmingham said.

It is estimated that more than a third of Australian wine worth $1.07 billion was exported to China in 2019-20 making it the top trading partner for the winemakers. Preliminary findings from the anti-dumping investigation launched in August showed there was a “causal relationship between dumping and material damage”.

“There is dumping of imported wines originating in Australia, and the relevant domestic wine industry in China has been substantive,” the Chinese ministry said in a statement. Australia’s agriculture minister David Littleproud reacted to the announcement via Twitter, saying the government was “extremely disappointed”.

The Morrison government and industry, which have repeatedly refuted the dumping allegations, will hold an emergency meeting on Friday, November 27, afternoon to discuss the 10-day appeal process.

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Tony Winterburn

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