CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia will ask the World Trade Organization to intervene in its dispute with China over barley and expects other nations to become involved in the case, Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said on Wednesday.
China effectively ended imports of Australian barley in May by putting tariffs of more than 80% on the crop, accusing Australia of breaching WTO rules by subsidizing barley production and selling the grain in China at below production costs.
Birmingham said Australia would formally ask the WTO to intervene on Wednesday.
“WTO dispute resolution processes are not perfect and they take longer than would be ideal, but ultimately, it is the right avenue for Australia to take at this point,” Birmingham told reporters.
“It’s quite common for other countries to become third parties to proceedings in the WTO; Australia has done so on many occasions, China has done so on many occasions, and I would anticipate that others would do so on this occasion,” he added.
Australia is seeking clarification of recent Chinese state media reports that Australian coal imports have been banned.
Asked about the reports on coal exports, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that Australia “dresses up as a victim” while China complied with its own laws, regulations and international practices.
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