Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says Australia rejects the basis of China’s decision to impose tariffs of more than 80% on barley imports.
China has put punitive tariffs of more than 80% on barley imports from Australia as more than 110 countries backed a push for an international coronavirus inquiry.
Mr. Birmingham indicated Australia may appeal the imposition of a 73.6% anti-dumping tariff and a 6.9% anti-subsidy tariff applied to all Australian barley from Tuesday. “Australia is deeply disappointed with China’s decision to impose duties on Australian barley,” he said in a statement.
“We reject the basis of this decision and will be assessing the details of the findings while we consider the next steps.
China’s Ministry of Commerce announced the tariffs late on Monday after completing a 16-month investigation into an anti-dumping complaint.
“The investigating authority has ruled that there was dumping of imported barley from Australia and the domestic industry suffered substantial damage,” a statement on the ministry’s website said.
The tariffs are a significant blow to Australia’s barley trade with China, which is understood to cover about half of all barley exports.
A week ago China imposed a ban on meat imports from four Australian processing plants.
There are growing suspicions that China is punishing Australia for pushing for an international investigation into the Covid-19 pandemic, and particularly the source of the outbreak.
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