Australia challenges Australia as escalate to challenge China at WTO


Photographer: Carla Gotens / Bloomberg

Australia will challenge China at the World Trade Organization over Beijing’s decision to impose heavy tariffs on barley exports, another sign of deteriorating relations between the two major trading partners.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said on Wednesday that the government had advised Beijing’s counterparts to “request formal consultations with China.” The dispute process may take years to resolve, but the organization must recognize that the tariff is “nothing short of facts and evidence,” he said.

“We will make this formal request to the World Trade Organization tonight,” Birmingham told reporters. “WTO dispute resolution processes are not perfect, and they take longer than is ideal, but ultimately, this is the right avenue for Australia.”

China killed Australian barley Tariffs at a rate of over 80% in May after allegations of dumping grain in the country and subsidizing its producers. According to estimates from industry group GrainGrowers, Australian producers could cost as much as $ 2.5 billion ($ 1.9 billion) over the next five years.

Parliament sits for last fortnight as the business of the Senate

Photographer: Sam Moy / Getty Images Asiapack

“We are confident that based on the evidence, data and analysis we have already put in place, that Australia has an incredibly strong case,” Birmingham said.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry told reporters at a briefing in Beijing on Wednesday to contact the concerned department, which declined to comment specifically on the matter. A representative from the Ministry of Commerce did not respond to an earlier request for comment.

Long process

The WTO dispute settlement can often be a drawn-out process and the results are not expected to be known for at least months. a The recent case involving China and the US took almost two years, when a panel ruled in September that the US broke global rules when it imposed tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018.

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