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Taking wine scrap to WTO should open talks

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Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne believes it is still worth taking a dispute with China over wine export tariffs to the World Trade Organisation even if the federal government thinks it lacks teeth.

Senator Payne says the WTO does need a number of key reforms, such as dispute settlements being made more transparent.

“But what lodging the dispute enables us to do is begin dispute consultation settlements, which actually is a bilateral discussion with China about the issues,” she told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

“We’ve seen duties of over 200 per cent applied to Australian wine. We don’t believe that that is consistent with China’s obligations under the WTO. So that part of the process enables us to have that direct conversation.”

Wine exports to China are just one of several Australian commodities in dispute with its number one trading partner, and first coincided with Australia calling for an inquiry into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic in…

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