Australia Says World Trade Organization Should Punish Chinese Economic Coercion

The World Trade Organization ought to penalize dangerous conduct when it happens, Australia’s prime minister mentioned Wednesday forward of a Group of Seven leaders assembly in Britain the place he hopes to garner assist in a commerce dispute with China.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned Australia could be working with others to buttress the function of the World Trade Organization and to modernize its rulebook the place essential.

In my discussions with many leaders, Ive taken nice encouragement from the assist proven for Australias preparedness to face up to financial coercion in latest occasions, Morrison mentioned in a speech delivered within the Australian west coast metropolis of Perth earlier than leaving for the G7 assembly in Cornwall.

The Australian authorities introduced in December it might ask the WTO to intervene in its dispute with China over barley and expects different nations to grow to be concerned within the case.

China successfully ended imports of Australian barley in May 2020 by placing tariffs of greater than 80% on the crop, accusing Australia of breaching WTO guidelines by subsidizing barley manufacturing and promoting the grain in China at under manufacturing price.

Trade in Australian seafood, wooden, beef, wine and coal has additionally been disrupted since Australia angered China by requesting an impartial inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Geneva-based WTO, which makes guidelines governing worldwide commerce, is dealing with requires restructuring and reform because it struggles to forge a long-awaited world commerce pact.

A well-functioning WTO that units clear guidelines, arbitrates disputes objectively and effectively penalizes dangerous conduct when it happens. This may be one of the crucial highly effective instruments the worldwide neighborhood has to counter financial coercion, Morrison mentioned.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned final month the United States won’t go away Australia alone to face coercion from China and that such conduct towards U.S. allies will hamper enchancment in relations between Washington and Beijing.

Morrison mentioned in his speech essentially the most sensible method to deal with financial coercion could be to revive the WTOs binding dispute settlement system.

Where there aren’t any penalties for coercive conduct, there’s little incentive for restraint, Morrison mentioned.

The G-7 assembly gives a chance to level a method ahead at a WTO ministerial convention on commerce reforms in November, he mentioned.

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