China is the most important export market for Australian wine, and winemakers are looking for new markets to find new markets following the decision to slap tariffs by 212% on Australian wine imports amid a growing trade war between the two countries.
Now many public figures associated with the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), who call themselves “an international cross-party group of legislators working to improve China’s view of democratic countries”, have called on consumers to stand Has called for Beijing.
“We are asking all of you to join us in taking a stand against Xi Jinping’s authoritarian hooliganism,” a representative of the European Democrats (MEP) member Christian Democrats said in a video posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
“By drinking a bottle or two of Australian wine and telling the Chinese Communist Party that we will not be bullied,” said municipal councilor Elisbet Län of Sweden’s Christian Democrats.
Other politicians featured in the video include Australian MP Kimberly Kitching, US Senator Ted Yoho, and Shiori Yamo, an independent member of the House of Representatives of Japan.
Tony Battalagin, CEO of Australian Grape and Wine, a national association, said Beijing’s tariffs put trade with mainland China at risk.
He said Bataglin works with about 800 wine producers in Australia, who have “built their businesses” to export to China and no longer have any backup plans.
“We were surprised, we were surprised,” BattleGene told CNN Business. “By having these interim charges limit, I mean that essentially they will shut down the Australian bottled wine market, to premium in China. There is no way we can compete at those levels.”
China’s Ministry of Commerce announced on Friday that its decision was made after finding preliminary evidence of dumping. Australian officials strongly opposed the move, saying China had been unable to provide evidence.
The alcohol war is taking place against the backdrop of a widespread deterioration in relations. Australia has upset China this year, calling for an investigation into the origin of the coronovirus epidemic. Beijing later targeted Canberra over trade, meaning it suspended some imports of beef and slapped heavy tariffs on barley.