AUSTRALIA – After three years of punitive tariffs, China has announced the lifting of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs on Australian wine, effective March 29.  

This decision brings long-awaited relief to Australian wine producers, signaling a positive turn in bilateral trade relations. 

The tariffs, which reached up to 218.4 percent, were initially imposed in March 2021 for a five-year period amid strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.  

However, recent improvements in relations have paved the way for China to gradually remove trade barriers on various Australian commodities. 

In a statement released by the Chinese commerce ministry, it was stated that the changing dynamics of China’s wine market no longer necessitate the imposition of tariffs on Australian imports. This move marks a significant step towards normalizing trade relations between the two nations. 

Previously, Australian wines enjoyed a competitive edge in the Chinese market due to zero tariffs under a free trade agreement signed in 2015.  

However, the imposition of tariffs severely impacted Australian wine exports to China, plummeting from 27.46 percent of Chinese wine imports in 2020 to just 0.14 percent in the first half of 2023. 

“We welcome this outcome, which comes at a critical time for the Australian wine industry,” the Australian government said in a statement. 

Since 2020, the punitive tariffs had made it economically unfeasible for Australian producers to export bottled wine to China, causing a significant decline in exports valued at US$1.1 billion in 2019. 

Campbell Thompson, CEO of The Wine Republic, expressed enthusiasm for the lifting of tariffs, anticipating a resurgence of Australian wines in the Chinese market. 

Australian wine makers had been anticipating the removal of tariffs, evident in the increased wine shipments to Hong Kong in December. This rise in exports indicates a readiness to re-establish market presence in China. 

The resolution of trade disputes between China and Australia under the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) played a crucial role in reaching this milestone. Both countries have agreed to discontinue legal proceedings at the WTO following the removal of tariffs. 

Treasury Wine Estates, Australia’s leading winemaker, welcomed the announcement, expressing plans to collaborate with Chinese customers to expand sales and marketing efforts.  

CEO Tim Ford said: “The removal of tariffs on Australian wine exports to China is terrific news and is cause for celebration across the Australian wine industry and with our partners and consumers in China.” 


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