• By The Financial District


China is set to impose anti-dumping deposits on Australian wine amid escalating tensions between the two economies, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said, Simina Mistreanu and Annika Burgess reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).

Chinese authorities found that the domestic wine market, which is a very minor player internationally, "has suffered substantial damage" due to the dumping of imported Australian wines, the ministry said. China has slapped trade tariffs and customs delays on several Australian exports, including barley and beef. Australia got China’s goat after it banned Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from setting up a 5G network in Australia. Beijing is also angry that the Australian government demanded an independent investigation into the origin of the new coronavirus, which spread from the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan worldwide.

China said temporary anti-dumping deposits of 107.1 per cent to 212.1 per cent will be imposed on Australian wines starting on Saturday. Australia's agriculture minister expressed the Canberra government's "extreme disappointment" in China's decision, saying they will continue to work with the industry and authorities in their investigation but will "consider all of our options moving forward."

"Today's decision is a seriously concerning development and one which Australia will be vigorously fighting against," David Littleproud said in a statement Friday. He stressed that Australia "provides the second lowest level of farm subsidies in the OECD," he said using the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's acronym. "The Australian Government categorically rejects any allegation that our wine producers are dumping product into China, and we continue to believe there is no basis or any evidence for these claims," he said.