Australia calls WTO to probe Chinese tariffs as ties between two get bitter

On December 16, Australia called on the World Trade Organization to intervene and probe Chinese tariffs on barley imports. The development comes as it turned to an “independent umpire” to adjudicate one of several bitter politically tinged disputes going on between the two sides.

Lamenting that efforts to reach a negotiated settlement had failed, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham denounced Beijing’s 80 percent surcharge on Australian barley shipments as “not underpinned by facts and evidence” and said, “We have continued to raise our concerns with China on numerous occasions.” “We now believe that calling in the independent umpire is the most appropriate course of action to resolve this dispute,” he added.

 Birmingham further suggested that WTO action could be in the course.

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