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Australia to Challenge China at the WTO as Tensions Escalate

  • Birmingham says WTO dispute resolution is the right track
  • Minister adds that further challenges against China ‘possible’
Barley silos at a grain facility in Balliang, Victoria, in Australia.

Barley silos at a grain facility in Balliang, Victoria, in Australia.

Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg
Updated on

Australia will challenge China at the World Trade Organization over Beijing’s decision to impose hefty tariffs on its barley exports, a further sign of deteriorating relations between the two key trading partners.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Wednesday that the government had advised counterparts in Beijing of its intention “to request formal consultations with China.” The dispute process could take years to be resolved, but the organization should recognize that the tariffs are “not underpinned by facts and evidence,” he said.