Australia and China Resolve Barley Dispute

August 8, 2023

© teen00000 / Adobe Stock
© teen00000 / Adobe Stock

China has removed the 80.5% anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Australian barley.

Australia welcomed the move which paves the way for its barley exporters to re-enter the Chinese market.

Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Minister for Trade and Tourism, and Senator Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, said the move affirms the calm and consistent approach that Australia’s Albanese Government has taken.

Since May 2020, China’s duties on Australian barley have effectively blocked exports to that market, worth about $916 million in 2018-19.

The ministers said in a joint statement: “We acknowledge and thank industry and affected businesses for their support and patience throughout the World Trade Organization (WTO) process. In April this year, Australia announced a pathway agreed with China to temporarily suspend our WTO dispute while China conducted an expedited review of the measures. The removal of these duties means that Australia will now discontinue legal proceedings at the WTO.”

The ministers expect a similar process to be followed to remove the duties on Australian wine. In 2021, China imposed a tariff of up to 218% on Australian wine sold in quantities of less than two liters.

The measures were imposed during a diplomatic dispute with the then Morrison government in 2020. At that time, Australia was the first country to ban Huawei’s 5G technology, to pass foreign interference laws aimed at curbing Chinese influence, and to call for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus.

“The Australian Government’s approach has been to cooperate with China where we can, disagree where we must and engage in our national interest. The outcome on barley reflects that approach,” said the ministers.

“We will continue to press for all trade impediments affecting Australian exports to be removed, which is in the interests of both Australia and China.”

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