China has taken the first steps to lift the punishing tariffs on Australian wine imports ahead of the visit to Beijing by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
China will undertake a five month review of the tariffs of up to 220 per cent on Australian wine imposed in 2020 as relations deteriorated between Canberra and Beijing.
Australia’s $1 billion export market to China dried up, forcing winemakers to find alternative markets and some going to the wall.
Albanese said in a statement: “We welcome China’s agreement to undertake an expedited review of its duties.
“We are confident of a successful outcome.”
Australia has in return agreed to suspend its complaint against China in the World Trade Organisation.
Should the tariffs not be lifted after the review, Australia will resume its action.
More than $20 billion worth of Australian exports to China were hit by tariffs in 2020, with Beijing gradually ditching the imposts, including lifting tariffs on barley in August.
Earlier this month China also freed Australian journalist Cheng Lei who was detained in Beijing for three years.
Albanese will visit Beijing from November 4 to 7 where he will meet with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang.