Scott Morrison lashes out at China over extreme 200% wine tax on Australian goods, hitting the step as political ‘retaliation’ – and thanks ‘buddy’ Boris Johnson for standing up for Aussies
- The new Chinese tax on Australian wine starts on Sunday and will run for five years
- Importers pay tax to Chinese customs authority for ‘anti-dumping measure’
- Scott Morrison said the tariff was retaliation for Australians who stood up for values
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says China is raising the price of Australian wine in ‘retaliation’ for Australia standing up for its values and that is ‘not OK’.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced in a statement on Friday that the new measures will take effect from Sunday and from five years.
Some importers will have to pay taxes to Chinese customs, in a move that China says is an anti-dumping measure.
Scott Morrison (left) said he “ stands behind Prime Minister Johnson ” (right) in condemning the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang
Scott Morrison said the UK has also come under sanctions from China for condemning their treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang (Photo: China’s People Liberation Army)
Mr Morrison said Australia “completely rejects” what he called “non-tariff restrictions”.
“In their own words, (this is) public retaliation for Australians who stand up for our values,” he told reporters. “That’s not okay.”
The prime minister said Australia was alongside the UK in condemning the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and that Australia’s ally was also under sanctions for their position.
“I stand with Prime Minister Johnson… Boris, well done mate, we stand with you and thank you for standing for Australia too,” he said.
The Australian government is fighting back against China’s decision to raise the price of wine for five years
Trade, Tourism and Investments Minister Dan Tehan previously called the decision “extremely disappointing and completely unjustified” and promised to do everything possible to reverse it.
Rates between 116 and 218 percent mean it will be “essentially impossible” for Australian wine to compete in the Chinese market, Mr Tehan said.
Beijing has launched trade strikes against a range of Australian products, including coal, barley, beef, lobster and timber.
Some insiders argue that the new taxes are in response to Mr. Morrison’s call for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19.
Mr Tehan said such decisions make it “difficult” to continue to work with the Chinese government to develop the economic relationship between the two countries.
He said he had spoken to the Australian wine industry and intended to refer the matter to the World Trade Organization.
Beijing has launched trade strikes against a range of Australian products, including coal, barley, beef, lobster and timber
Industry and the government would work closely together to explore other markets, he said.
“Chinese consumers have clearly shown a great love for Australian wine, and we are confident that consumers around the world will also appreciate the great product Australian winemakers and Australian grape growers are producing,” he said.
The decision comes after China said last year that it would start imposing temporary tariffs on wine from Australia for four months starting Nov. 28, but warned it could extend them.