Australia Calls For Normalising Trade Relations After China Lifts Barley Tariffs

Australia Calls For Normalising Trade Relations After China Lifts Barley Tariffs

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Australia urged China to end all remaining restrictions on trade between the two countries on Friday. After China decided to lift anti-dumping tariffs on Australian barley, Australia followed with a call to normalise trade relations by ending all restrictions on trade between the two nations, starting with wine. 

According to a report by Reuters, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Friday an end to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on its barley imports, effective from Saturday. It noted, “it is no longer necessary to continue to impose anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of barley originating in Australia in view of changes in the Chinese barley market.”

The development comes after almost three years of 80.5 per cent duties which initially put a curb on about $986.25 million worth annual trade and led to a case being filed by Australia at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). 

The ministry further noted that the industry has witnessed a strong increase in beer demand and domestic barley production was not sufficient to meet the needs of the population. 

Trade resumption started with products like coal and timber. Other products still under restrictions include wine, lobster, meat exports and more. 

Australia’s trade minister Don Farrell welcomed the move and said, “We intend to use this process (barley) as a template for resolving the issue in respect of wine, which is still ongoing… as we seek to resolve all of those outstanding issues.”

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Problems between the two nations started brewing after Australia asked for an inquiry into Covid-19 origins, triggering the tariff restrictions by China. Australia is one of the few countries which exports more into China than it imports from it, noted CNBC in its report. In April, Australia “temporarily suspended” its legal complaint with the WTO, paving the way for these restrictions to be eliminated. 

Australia now hopes the tariff restrictions on wine to end as well. China introduced a five-year tariff of 218 per cent on Australian wine back in March 2021. 

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