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China tells us to ‘be patient’

By Tuesday 20 February 2024March 19th, 2024No Comments

So, when is China coming back? Asking for a friend in the wine industry.

Early this year, was the tip from Trade Minister Don Farrell back in December.

That didn’t happen.

Now WBM is hearing reports that April will bring some good news.

China is now telling us to be patient – that the review is happening.

On Monday the Chinese newspaper the Global Times – in an article about Treasury Wine Estates supposedly stockpiling wine in Hong Kong ahead of changes to China tariffs on Australia wine – told Australia to be patient.

“The review period is expected to last for one year, ending before November 30, 2024, according to the MOFCOM (Ministry of Commerce),” the Global Times says.

“Some Australian government officials, media outlets and industry insiders believe that the tariffs will be lifted in early 2024, according to media reports.

“A senior insider with a Chinese wine industry group told the Global Times on Monday that the review regarding tariff lifting is underway and there is no update at present.

“When it comes to the specific timeline for the review, the insider said that it is ultimately up to the Chinese side, not the Australian side.

“The insider urged the Australian side to remain patient, noting that the corresponding department in China has already taken active steps over the matter.”

The Global Times says Chinese experts have expressed optimism about the further improvement of bilateral economic and trade ties with Australia this year, “especially with China’s economic recovery, evident through the strong consumption rebound during the just-ended Chinese Lunar New Year holidays”.

“Although there are some technical issues, they are not insurmountable obstacles, provided both sides are sincere in addressing these issues together, unlike the previous Morrison administration that politicised the issues and launched political attacks,” says Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Centre of East China Normal University.

“With joint efforts from both sides, it is expected that more Australian products such as wine and lobsters may return to the Chinese market in the not too far future, the Chinese expert said.”

TWE has denied shipping wine to a Hong Kong warehouse ahead of good news on China.

The ABC reported last week that, “China’s tariffs on Australian wine – imposed amid a diplomatic fallout in 2020 – are widely expected to be lifted next month.”

If they were not, Don Farrell said he will immediately resume the World Trade Organisation dispute.

“And we’ve made that very clear to the Chinese authorities,” he told the ABC.


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