Australia has taken its dispute with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to the World Trade Organization (WTO), requesting the establishment of a committee to address in detail the punitive tariffs it imposed on Australian barley exports. Australian producers and politicians claim that there are political motivations behind the abusive import tariffs.
Informal talks between members of the deteriorating trade partnership between the CCP and Australia over their barley-related anti-dumping dispute have not gone well since the disputes began last year, the South China Morning Post reported.
Relations between the two countries continue to fail to improve, particularly after several major Australian exports, such as coal, timber, and wine, were unofficially banned last year by the communist regime.
During 2020 the Australian National Farmers Federation was already raising concerns about this, after the CCP’s trade minister followed through on threats and slapped tariffs of up to 80.5% on Australian barley imports.
Diplomatic tensions between Canberra and the CCP have soared after Australia pushed for an investigation into the origin of the CCP Virus.
The tariffs, imposed by the communist regime, came shortly after Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingye in Canberra warned of possible economic sanctions against the country following calls by Foreign Minister Marise Payne to investigate the origins of the CCP Virus.
The Australian government said on Monday it will step up the resolution process by asking the World Trade Organization (WTO) to set up a dispute settlement committee after failed attempts to resolve the complaint informally with the CCP in late January.
“While there was constructive engagement on both sides, these consultations did not resolve our concerns,” Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said in an official statement.
“The WTO, dispute settlement system, is designed to allow members to settle their differences over trade matters in a respectful manner,” Tehan added.
Reality shows that a trade resolution at the WTO could take years, so Australia has begun to develop new markets for its barley exports, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
The CCP has been repeatedly criticized for mixing its political affairs with economic and trade agreements with other countries. Recently, it announced a sudden ban on the import of pineapples from Taiwan, which has been growing steadily for several decades, as a result of the increasingly bad relationship between the two countries.