China Agrees to Negotiations Over French Wine Trade Dispute

on July 29 2013 9:15 AM
Wine of the Month
Consumption of Bordeaux wine in China rose 110 percent in 2011. Flickr/swanksalot

The Chinese government is open to negotiations over a trade dispute on excessive imports of French wine, reports Reuters, as part of a larger deal reached over the weekend, resolving a trade dispute over solar panels.

After the EU announced punitive import tariffs on solar panels from China, the Chinese government opened an anti-dumping probe into European wine exports. The EU solar panel tariffs were scheduled to escalate sharply to 47.6 percent of import value on Aug. 6.

Widely viewed as retaliatory, the wine probe could have led to high import tariffs for European wines entering China.

“There is a window for discussions between the European Union and Chinese (wine) producers,” said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht during a Monday press conference. “The Chinese government has promised to facilitate such discussions.”

Even though EU and Chinese diplomats expect that the wine dispute will be dropped after the end of the solar panel dispute, a freeze in the Chinese wine investigation couldn’t be confirmed by the Chinese commerce ministry.

A lawyer representing the Chinese industry association that filed the wine complaint said the firm hadn’t received notice that the probe had halted, according to China’s People’s Daily, a news website associated with the Chinese Community Party.  

China is the world’s biggest importer of Bordeaux wines, with consumption rising 110 percent in 2011.

De Gucht also said there would be similar ongoing negotiations on a dispute over European exports of polysilicon, a component of solar panels. 

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