Australia will urgently press China to remove punitive tariffs on wine following Beijing’s backdown on barley.
The decision to remove the barley tariff put an end to the three-year dispute that Australia took to the World Trade Organisation.
Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the move showed the rift between Beijing and Canberra was thawing.
But he said the government’s next focus was removing the restrictions on Australian wine.
“We see wine as the next cab off the rank,” Senator Watt told ABC’s RN Breakfast.
“We’ve always made clear that we see wine as just as urgent as barley and for that matter, we see all of the trade impediments that remain in place as urgent to be removed, so we’ll be pushing for China to move quickly on the wine dispute.”
The minister said he’d rather have the matters solved through a negotiation rather than cases against China at the WTO.
Australia launched the action after China ramped up tariffs on barely and wine, up 80 per cent and 212 per cent respectfully.
On Friday, Beijing scrapped the barley sanction, but the restrictions effectively black-listing Australian wine remain.
Senator Watt said the government was not yet prepared to walk away from its WTO action on wine.
“We obviously wouldn’t walk away from the WTO action until we had seen any positive sign like that,” the minister said.
“We’d like China to remove those tariffs today and the trade impediments remaining in place on seafood and some beef processing,” he said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signalled a possible meeting with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in India next month.
The pair met at the same forum last year to break the ice after a serious of disagreements with the previous Coalition government put the diplomatic relationship in the deep freeze.
“I met with Xi Jinping in November last year, and I’m sure that we will potentially meet again on the sidelines of the G20 meeting that will be coming up in the future,” Mr Albanese told the parliament on Monday.
“We have made progress without shifting any of our fundamental positions on trade, on security, on regional stability.”
It is unclear if the meeting will replace a wildly speculated meeting in Beijing between the leaders, which was expected to take place in late October.