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|Chinese tariffs on Australian wine in 2020: the domestic drivers of international coercion||578.05 KB|
In 2020 China applied barriers to the export of 12 Australian industries and began 2021 with ominous signs for the higher education sector. A report published by Future Directions International in December 2020 outlined the logic of China’s economic coercion based on an asymmetry of costs, where China seeks to impose costs on Australia to change its behaviour, but also selects industries where there will be low costs for China, or even strategic benefits.
Thus China’s tariffs on barley targeted a high value export trade, but also aimed to diversify supply of this important grain away from Australia. This article argues that comparable forces are at play in the case of wine. Australian wine exports were rapidly gaining market share in the lucrative Chinese wine market, which China argued damaged its domestic industry, so the trade stopped through a spurious anti-dumping case. As China is a major market for premium wines, there will be significant effects on the industry – likely to be higher than for other affected commodities – that the industry will adapt to.