China wine dispute ‘highly likely’ to follow barley to WTO

AUSTRALIA is almost certain to dispute China’s wine tariffs with the World Trade Organisation, the Trade Minister says, with the government in the final stages of preparing its legal case. The Australian wine industry is still struggling to recover after the Asian superpower imposed a five-year tariff of more than 200 per cent on Aussie winemakers, accusing them of dumping wine into China, effectively closing the market.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan said it was “highly likely” that the federal government will decided to take the case to the WTO for an independent verdict. “We’ll make a decision on that in the next couple of weeks,” Mr Tehan said.”We’re making sure that it is a robust legal case because if you’re going to take on these disputes, you’ve got to make sure that you do your best to win them. “We’re now looking at dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s [of the legal case].”

Wine Grape council of SA chair and Barossa Valley winemaker Adrian Hoffman said the impact of the Chinese tariffs have varied from vineyard to vineyard.

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