Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham. Source: AAP.
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  • The Chinese government has revealed weighty new taxes on Australian wine imports
  • The tariffs range from 107 per cent to over 200 per cent and will commence from November 28
  • While the new tariffs are expected to be temporary, it remains unclear how long they will remain in effect
  • China claims the new measures are in response to “anti-dumping” concerns and are aimed at improving the market for Chinese winemakers
  • In a public response shortly following the news, Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham called the new tariffs “grossly, grossly unfair, unwarranted” and “unjustified”

The Chinese government has revealed weighty new taxes on Australian wine imports, amid deteriorating trade relations between the two nations.

The new tariffs range from 107 per cent to over 200 per cent and will commence from November 28. While China’s Commerce Ministry did state the new measures are temporary, it did not say how long the tariffs will remain in effect.

Dubbed as “anti-dumping security deposits”, the tariffs were developed in reaction to a China-led investigation into Australian wine sales overseas.

While the investigation is still ongoing, China brought in the new taxes based on the report’s preliminary findings, which claim the imports are hurting Chinese winemakers.

Soon after the news broke, shares in ASX-listed Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) plummeted down more than 11 per cent before entering a trading halt.

In a public response shortly following the news, Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said China had dealt a “devastating blow” to Australian winemakers.

“It will render unviable for many businesses their wine trade with China and clearly we think it’s unjustified, without evidence to back it up,” he added.

Simon went on to call the new tariffs “grossly, grossly unfair” and “unwarranted”.

Relations between the two countries first began to sour earlier this year, when Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the international call for an independent investigation into the origin of COVID-19 within China’s borders.

In the months since then, China has imposed sweeping restriction on a number of other Australian goods, including lobster, sugar, barley, timber and copper ore.

Annual wine sales from Australia to China are valued at around $1.2 billion.

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