Australia Lays Bare Beijing’s Coercive Trade Policy at WTO

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Australian diplomats person issued a powerfully worded connection criticising Beijing’s usage of economic coercion and informing that its behaviour could undermine the planetary trading system.

Australia’s ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), George Mina, released the connection arsenic portion of the planetary body’s regular Trade Policy Review process.

It said that portion accrued engagement from Beijing was welcome, it had made small advancement successful adopting WTO principles and that it needed to “adhere much intimately to market-oriented principles.”

“Since its past review, China has progressively tested planetary commercialized rules and norms by engaging successful practices that are inconsistent with its WTO commitments. Australia is 1 of galore WTO members that has experienced this first-hand,” the statement read.

It outlined a scope of activities undertaken by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against Australian exporters, including arbitrary borderline investigating and inspections, the imposition of tariffs, and unwarranted delays successful listing export establishments and issuing import licences.

Epoch Times Photo Australian beef is seen astatine a supermarket successful Beijing connected May 12, 2020 (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

The measures person “limited oregon ended” Australian commercialized to China crossed the barley, coal, cotton, hay, logs, meat, stone lobsters, and vino industries.

“China says these actions bespeak morganatic concerns, but determination is simply a increasing assemblage of accusation that demonstrates China’s actions are motivated by governmental considerations,” the connection noted.

“For example, erstwhile asked successful July 2021 however Australia should grip relations with China, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Minister said: ‘We volition not let immoderate state to reap benefits from doing concern with China portion groundlessly accusing and smearing China and undermining China’s halfway interests based connected ideology.’”

The Australian authorities noted that WTO rules did not let subordinate states—no substance however ample they were—to enforce specified conditions connected different nations.

“The implications of China’s actions spell beyond their interaction connected Australian exporters; they rise the hazard and uncertainty of the China marketplace for the planetary concern community,” it said.

“By undermining agreed commercialized rules, China besides undermines the multilateral trading strategy connected which each WTO members rely,” it continued. “China has assured members of its committedness to the rules-based order, but from our viewpoint, determination is simply a increasing spread betwixt China’s rhetoric and its actions.”

Beijing’s commercialized strikes against Australian exports began soon aft Foreign Minister Marise Payne started calling for an autarkic probe into the origins of COVID-19 successful April 2020.

Chinese Ambassador to Canberra, Cheng Jingye, responded with a veiled menace saying bilateral commercialized could endure arsenic a result.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg estimated connected Sept. 6 that the ongoing economical coercion run had contributed to a A$5.4 cardinal (US$4 billion) drop successful exports successful the twelvemonth to June 2021. At the aforesaid time, however, exporters person been moving to alternate markets, which saw commercialized exports to different parts of the satellite summation by $4.4 billion.

Federal Trade Minister Dan Tehan said Australia would proceed to prosecute its lawsuit against China astatine the WTO.

“We haven’t seen overmuch alteration successful the past 12 to 18 months, but that doesn’t mean we don’t support putting guardant our case,” helium told Sky News Australia connected Oct. 21.

“(The statement) calls retired what we deliberation are practices that are politically motivated.”

Australia is presently progressing 2 actions astatine the WTO against tariffs imposed by Beijing connected vino and barley exports.

According to Peter Draper, enforcement manager astatine the Institute for International Trade astatine the University of South Australia, obtaining a genuine solution volition beryllium difficult. However, the Australian authorities is astir apt utilizing the level to exposure Beijing’s actions and behaviour.

“As they say, ‘Sunlight is the champion disinfectant.’ I deliberation that’s what the Australian authorities is aiming for successful this case,” helium told The Epoch Times previously.

Daniel Y. Teng