Wednesday, 2 December 2020
Questions without Notice
Thank you, Senator Patrick, for your question and for the heads-up you gave us about the subject. Obviously Australia is extraordinarily disappointed by the actions of China to seek to impose a provisional anti-dumping measure—a tariff of between 107 and 212 per cent. The Australian government is absolutely unaware of any evidence that Australian wine exporters have dumped their products in the Chinese market and we acknowledge that Australian exporters have worked very, very hard to establish themselves in that market. However, right now the most important priority of the government is to work with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce for the 10-day period in which we are currently allowed to make submissions in writing by the affected parties in response to this announcement.
I also understand that today—I'm not sure whether they have or they're about to—the minister for agriculture, along with Senator Birmingham, the minister for trade, will be meeting with the Chief Executive of Australian Grape & Wine, Tony Battaglene, to discuss with him the implications of this particular action, should it be successful, on the Australian wine industry. There is no doubt, Senator Patrick, that, should this action be successful and these provisional duties be brought into place, the impact on our home state will be significant. As you would be aware, $800 million of the $1.07 billion worth of wine exported to China comes out of our home state of South Australia. So we will continue to work with the industry to assess the impact should this go ahead, but our first priority must be to make sure that it doesn't happen in the first place, and we have a very short time frame in which to make that happen, with the 10 days we have in which to make written submissions.