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China imposes anti-dumping tariffs on Australian wine imports

Beijing, Mar 26 (efe-epa).- China Friday announced fresh tariffs between 116.2 percent and 218.4 percent on Australian wine from Mar.28 for five years after a probe into an alleged unfair competition launched last year.

In a statement on its website, the Chinese ministry of commerce said the local wine sector had suffered material damage.

It said there was a “causal link” between the dumping of wine and subsidies offered by Australia to its wine industry and the material damage.

Similarly, the authorities also announced a tariff of 6.3-6.4 percent over the alleged subsidies.

However, the ministry said it would not enforce the tariff to avoid “double taxation.”

Beijing had earlier imposed temporary tariffs on Australian winemakers from Nov.28.

The anti-dumping investigation was launched at the request of Chinese producers, enforcing tariffs of up to 212.1 percent until March.

On Dec.9, Canberra accused Beijing, its largest trade partner, of violating trade commitments by imposing tariffs on Australian products, including wine.

Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham had said the tariffs imposed put into question China’s adherence to the “letter and spirit” of the free trade agreement between the two countries and its commitment as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The relationship between the two countries has deteriorated over issues, such as China’s militarization or Australia’s approval of laws against interference and foreign espionage.

Australia has alleged that cyberattacks on government agencies and universities had originated from China and also uncovered cases of Chinese donations to domestic politicians.

Canberra has also raised questions related to press freedom in China.

In September, it evacuated the last two Australian correspondents from China over fears that they could be detained. EFE-EPA

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