Australia PM to talk wine tariffs with China Foreign Minister in Canberra


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Saturday the removal of Chinese tariffs on Australian wine would be on the agenda when he meets China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi next week in Canberra.

Wang, China’s top diplomat, is set to visit Australia and New Zealand from March 17 to 21. The trip comes as China moves ahead with a review of tariffs first imposed on Australian wine during a diplomatic spat in 2020.

“We will host the Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Canberra in the coming week, and I look forward to having further discussion with the foreign minister,” Albanese said in comments televised by the Australian Broadcasting Corp from Adelaide, capital of South Australia, a major wine producing state.

Albanese said he expected a decision from China in coming weeks that would open back up the wine market, describing it as “win-win” for both countries.

“Dialogue leads to understanding and it leads to benefit for both of our nations. Australia will benefit from the economic activity that removal of these impediments will bring,” he said.

China said this month its review of tariffs on Australian wine was progressing well, but stopped short of confirming an Australian government claim the dispute would be resolved by the end of March.

China has been steadily lifting trade barriers put in place from late 2020 on a range of products and commodities including barley, wine, coal and lobsters. The restrictions were part of a spat over foreign investment and security that boiled over when Australia called for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.

(Reporting by Sam McKeith in Sydney; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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