vendredi 25 septembre 2020

China probes Australian wine imports

 Canberra 'sided with the United States' leads it into trap, says observer

China launched an anti-subsidy investigation into Australian wines on Monday, less than two weeks after launching an anti-dumping investigation against the same product, signaling a continued cooling in economic relations in the face of what the country describes as growing hostility from the administration Morrison to China.

China’s anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine is politically motivated, industry figures say

China's Ministry of Commerce on Monday announced it was launching an anti-subsidy investigation into Australian wines sold in containers of two liters or less. The investigation is expected to conclude on August 31, 2021 under normal circumstances, but it could be extended until February 28, 2022, according to the ministry statement.

China had already launched an anti-dumping investigation against Australian wine on August 18.

"China has launched investigations after it discovered problems with Australian wines exported to China," Li Guoxiang, an agricultural researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Monday.

“Based on my study of the Australian agricultural sector in 2013-14, it is hardly conceivable that the cost of Australian wine would be lower than that of Chinese domestic wine, so Canberra is probably giving subsidies to its farmers. This is one of the reasons why China has launched its anti-subsidy investigation, ”Li said, indicating that simultaneously conducting anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations is a standard trade investigation process under World Organization rules. trade (WTO).

As an economy that relies heavily on trade with China, Australia has seen its wine exports to China increase since 2019, when a free trade agreement came into effect and allowed Australian wines to d 'be imported into China without customs duties.

In 2019, Australia's wine exports to China increased 12% from the previous year to A $ 1.28 billion (US $ 943 million), becoming the largest supplier of wine from China with 37% of the country's annual wine imports

Australia's wine exports could be severely affected if surveys reveal problems, analysts say.

"The Morrison administration itself should be blamed if Australian exports to China drop, because it should have known that its unreasonable actions would have adverse effects on China-Australia economic relations," Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

"China has done nothing wrong with Australia, while Australia - in its decision to side with the United States - continues to accuse and attack China unreasonably," he said. Zhao said, noting that this seriously undermined bilateral political confidence.

Australia, which has followed the policies of the US administration, was the first Western country to not allow Huawei's 5G equipment, while calling for an independent investigation into the epidemic situation in China.

"Many hawks in Australia - who are aware of the complementary nature of trade between China and Australia - are playing a game of political provocation against China while trying to reap huge economic benefits from relations with China." Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the Chinese Institute of International Studies, said Monday.

According to him, Australia's pro-US foreign policy aimed at strengthening diplomatic relations with Washington has put Australia in a "trap", which has led many people to believe that Australia cannot take a stand. decisions by itself. "This is not in line with Australia's interests or international principles," he said.

Products that China imports from Australia can be purchased from other countries, Zhao said, noting that if the Australian government does not care about its economic interests, China can certainly import from other sources. .

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Amid deteriorating bilateral relations, China's merchandise imports from Australia fell 4.4 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2020 to reach $ 66.92 billion, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

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