Australia has lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organisation over China’s tariffs on barley

Australia will lodge a formal complaint at the World Trade Organisation later in the day seeking arbitration against China’s decision to impose high tariffs on imported barley, Trade Minister Birmingham said on Wednesday.

Acknowledging that an appeal would take years to resolve, Birmingham told reporters that Australia would also ask China for formal consultations on dumping and other duties on Australian barley as trade and diplomatic disputes between the two countries raged.

Australia denies allegations it subsidises local barley production and says it will seek formal WTO intervention.

After Canberra proposed an independent investigation into the origin of the novel Coronavirus pandemic at the beginning of this year, the relationship between China and Australia deteriorated rapidly in recent months. In May, Beijing imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Australian barley for five years, totaling 80.5 percent and affecting $1 billion in trade.

China has introduced additional trade restrictions against Australia in recent months, including “anti-dumping” duties of up to 212 per cent on Australian wine and a range of other measures to block Australian imports of coal, copper ore and its refined sands, sugar, wood and lobster.