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China imposes duties of up to 200% on imports of Australian wine

Canberra calls it an "unjustifiable" action

China has imposed preliminary anti-dumping measures on wine imports from Australia, including duties up to 200%; move that Australia has called unjustifiable. The announcement, made by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on November 27, concerns tariffs ranging between 107.1% and 212.1%. Despite calling the tariffs "temporary", China has not announced an exact end date.

Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the tariffs have been a devastating blow to businesses trading with China, as "they will make their wine trade with China impractical for many businesses." The move comes after the country of the Dragon launched an anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine imports in August, and following an increase in tension between the two countries over commodity trading. This year, China imposed tariffs on Australian barley, suspended meat imports, while Chinese importers were told they expect customs delays on seven categories of Australian products from coal to seafood starting in November.

According to the government, China takes 37% of Australia's total wine exports, an industry worth A $ 2.9 billion ($ 2.14 billion). Australian wine importers will now have to make deposits to the Chinese customs authority, which will be calculated on the basis of different rates that the authority has assigned to various companies. Treasury Wine Estates, which saw its share price drop by more than 13% after the announcement, is required to pay 169.3%, the highest amount owed by all wineries involved. "The Australian government categorically rejects any allegation that our wine producers are importing products into China, and we continue to believe that there is no basis or evidence for these claims," said Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the measures are in line with Chinese laws and regulations and urged Australia to do more to strengthen mutual trust between countries.

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EFA News - European Food Agency