(Bloomberg) — The crippling tariffs that China’s government imposed on Australian wine exports almost three years ago could be lifted shortly, Australia’s trade minister Don Farrell said on Sunday.
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China started reviewing the sanctions in late November and that process was “well and truly underway,” Farrell said in an interview with Sky News.
“I would be very confident that early in the new year we will get a favorable result from the Chinese authorities to lift the ban on Australian wine,” the minister said. “That will be very important for Australian winemakers.”
Farrell also expects taxes on lobster to be removed in “the near future” after raising that issue with his Chinese counterpart five times, he said. That meant it wasn’t an “unreasonable prediction” to expect that all of China’s remaining tariffs on Australian exports would be removed next year, he said.
The review on wine tariffs was originally estimated to end before Nov. 30, 2024, according to a statement from the Chinese Commerce Ministry. The nation imposed anti-dumping tariffs of up to 218% on wine in March 2021, decimating what had been one of Australia’s major overseas markets.
China imposed tariffs on wine and barley in an apparent attempt to punish Australia after then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2020 called for a probe into the origins of Covid-19, angering Beijing. Punitive actions citing biosecurity issues also blocked access for live lobsters, beef and other products.
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