Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Australia will launch a formal appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) later on Wednesday seeking a review of China’s decision to impose hefty tariffs on imports of Australian barley, Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham said.

Acknowledging the appeal may take years to be resolved, Birmingham told reporters that Australia had little choice after Beijing in May imposed five years of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5 per cent on Canberra’s barley – effectively stopping a billion-dollar trade in its tracks.

“Australia has an incredibly strong case to mount in relation to defending the integrity and proprietary of our grain growers and barley producers,” Birmingham said.

Story continues below advertisement

The Chinese government embassy in Australia didn’t immediately respond to e-mail requesting comment.

The appeal to the independent trade body threatens to further stoke bilateral tensions that have already seen China impose tariffs on a range of Australian commodities, while diplomatic communication is limited.

Already rocky after Australia in 2018 banned Huawei from its nascent 5G broadband network, the relationship with China cooled further after Canberra called this year for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, first reported in central China last year.

China has since limited beef imports, imposed tariffs on Australian wine and told its millers to stop buying Australian cotton.

While some have said Australia should seek a truce with China, Canberra’s conservative government is under growing pressure from farmers who face five years without being able to sell to what has been their most lucrative market.

“It is imperative that we support the liberalization of global trade and the rules that govern it,” said Fiona Simson, chief executive of the National Farmers Federation, in an e-mailed statement issued after minister Birmingham announced the WTO move.

About 70% of Australian exports of the grain typically go to China, Australian data show.

Story continues below advertisement

The effective block on sales to China also comes as Australian barley production is expected to hit nearly 12 million tonnes this crop year, after rain revived some of the biggest growing regions following years of drought.

Government sources, however, warned the WTO action won’t yield quick results.

The first stage of the appeal will seek formal talks between Australia and China, which are not expected until early next year.

Australia has low expectations of an immediate cessation of tariffs.

“We appealed a few months ago and they rejected that. So it seems unlikely that China will admit they were wrong,” said one person familiar with the details of the case who declined to be named because he was not authorized to talk to media.

Should talks between Australia and China fail to yield a result, an independent panel of experts will be set up to look into the issue. Australia expects this could take several years, and even if that panel rules in Canberra’s favour, China has the right to appeal.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies