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Chinese ‘investigation’ into wine dumping leads to five-year duty ruling

The Chinese government has concluded its kangaroo court-style probe into the dumping of Australian wine and finally determined massive tariffs which effectively block the nation’s exports from targeting the mainland for at least five years. 

In a statement, Treasury Wine Estates said it “acknowledges” the release by China’s Ministry of Commerce of the final determination in its anti-dumping and countervailing investigations into certain Australian wine exports into China.

Treasury will be forced to pay 175.6 per cent duty on all wines in containers of less than two litres which makes exporting to what was a fast-growing market unviable. That rate was close to that set when the ministry suddenly invoked the duty in November last year in what is widely seen as an attempt to penalise Australian business for geopolitical reasons, with no evidence of any actual dumping of wine into the market revealed. 

However, last month TWE’s CEO Tim Ford said the company had become more confident about its plans to reroute its Penfolds Bins and Icon luxury ranges from China to other markets.

In a statement issued after the final decision was released by the ministry, Ford took a positive tone. 

“As previously announced as part of its half year results release, TWE is executing a detailed response plan to maintain the long-term strength of its business model and brands, with benefits expected to progressively reach their full potential over a two to three-year period. Today’s final determination does not result in any change to those plans.”

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