Shanghai, China, Aug 4 (EFE).- China Friday took a significant step towards improving bilateral ties with Australia by revoking the tariffs imposed on Australian barley in 2020.
The decision comes after a series of trade and diplomatic disputes that strained relations between the two nations.
In a commerce ministry statement, the Chinese government said that it was “no longer necessary to continue to impose anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties on the imported barley originating in Australia” due to the changes in the market situation in China.
The Australian government welcomed the move that “paves the way for our barley exporters to re-enter the Chinese market – benefiting Australian producers and Chinese consumers.”
The removal of the tariffs will take effect from the following day, Saturday.
The review of the “actions against unfair competition” was initiated by Beijing in April, and in July, it extended the tariff regime for a month with Australian approval.
As part of the agreement, Australia suspended the appeal with the World Trade Organization (WTO).
China imposed a high tariff of 80.5 percent on Australian barley in May 2020, intended to last for five years, which significantly impacted barley exports to China valued at over $600 million in 2018-19.
These tariffs were part of a broader set of restrictions imposed by China in 2020 on various Australian products, including wine, coal, lobster, and timber.
The measures were taken in response to the Australian government’s investigation into the origin of Covid-19, first discovered in Wuhan, China.
China, Australia’s main trading partner, denied that the restrictions were connected to the Australian investigation.
Despite the tensions, relations between China and Australia have started to improve since Labor MP Anthony Albanese assumed power in May 2022.
This progress led to the resumption of coal trading earlier this year, though other disputes remain, including wine which is also with the WTO for arbitration.
The Australian government expects China to drop other restrictions as well.
“We have been clear that we expect a similar process to be followed to remove the duties on Australian wine,” the Australian government said.
“In the meantime, we are continuing to pursue our wine dispute at the WTO and remain confident in a positive outcome.” EFE