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China rejects WTO panel on barley imports from Australia

China on Wednesday rejected the installation of a panel on barley imports from Australia within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Since May 2020, China imposed quotas of 80.5% on barley imports originating in Australia following the conclusion of an 18-month investigation.

Australia then filed a complaint with the WTO in November.

But China rejected the request to form a dispute settlement panel on Wednesday, a move that will only delay the process.

At a meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on April 28, WTO Members discussed Australia’s request for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel.

Australia said China’s decision in May 2020 to impose anti-dumping duties of 73.6% and countervailing duties of 6.9% has effectively shut down the Chinese market for Australian barley, which previously accounted for half of Australia’s total barley feed exports. and 86% of its total malting barley exports.

As China has not taken concrete steps to respond to Australia’s concerns, Australia said it was now requesting a panel to examine the measures.

Barley imports

Australia also said it values ​​its strong economic and community ties with China and remains open to further discussions with China on the issue.

For its part, China said it was not in a position to support Australia’s request.

The Chinese authorities argued that they conducted their investigation in a fair, thorough and transparent manner and found trade distortions resulting from Australia’s actions that caused material injury to its domestic industry.

China entered into good faith talks with Australia during and after the WTO consultations, and both sides agreed that the talks were constructive.

Given this, China said Australia’s request for a panel was premature and that it was willing to continue its engagement with Australia.

The DSB agreed to revert to the matter at a future meeting if requested by a member.