China slaps 200% anti-dumping tariffs on Australian wine as relations continue to sour

On Friday, China’s Ministry of Commerce said it will impose anti-dumping duties of up to 212.1% on Australian wine imports starting Saturday, prompting one of Australia’s largest wine exporters, Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), to suspend trading as its shares plummeted 13%.

“We don’t see it’s justified and we’re obviously deeply concerned about what it does,” Tony Battaglene, CEO of Australia’s wine association Australian Grape and Wine, told local media of the tariff move. The tariffs will range from 107.1% to 212.1% but the Ministry of Commerce also revealed specific tariffs for a number of exporters. Among those named, TWE was hit with the steepest tariffs, levied at 169.3%.

The levies come roughly three months after Beijing began investigating complaints made by the Wine Industry Association of China that Australian winemakers have flooded the market with cheap wine since 2015. Mainland China is an $850 million market for Australia’s wine exports and the leading consumer, consuming about 40% of Australia’s total overseas shipments.

The tariffs are the latest aggravation in rapidly deteriorating relations between Australia and its largest trading partner, China. Beijing already has imposed import restrictions on Australian barley, wheat, coal, beef, lobster, sugar, copper and timber. The wine tariffs will take effect tomorrow.

Relations between Canberra and Beijing have deteriorated sharply since 2017, when Australia’s domestic media broke reports of a coordinated Chinese campaign to buy influence in Australian politics. That scandal resulted in the resignation of an Australian senator, accused of accepting bribes in order to lobby for Chinese interests, and prompted the creation of Australia’s first rules against accepting political donations from overseas.

“It wasn’t foreign interference, it was China interference. It was very targeted at one country,” Linda Jakobson, director of Australian think tank China Matters, told Fortune of the legislation in September.

When the legislation passed, then-Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull chose to paraphrase Chairman Mao Zedong’s declaration at the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and said, in Chinese, that the Australian people had “stood up.”

Tensions flared again in 2018 when Canberra blocked China telecoms giant Huawei Technologies from bidding on contracts to develop Australia’s 5G infrastructure, calling it a national secu

Read more: https://fortune.com/2020/11/27/china-australia-wine-anti-dumping-tariffs/

In an era of political polarization, ‘Trump TV’ makes perfect sense

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Though he may never publicly admit it, Donald Trump effectively conceded the 2020 presidential election on Monday, when his federal government’s General Services Administration finally signed off on the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming regime.

With a constitutional crisis, for now, averted, there is much speculation on what the future will hold for Trump. Whatever follows his remarkable, unprecedented four-year term in the White House, it’s hard to envisage him settling into a quiet post-presidency—perhaps one spent designing his presidential library and keeping quiet on his successor’s job performance.

What’s clear is that he leaves Washington much as he arrived: a divisive, polarizing figure who, despite losing a national election by millions of votes, retains a fiercely devoted following among segments of the American electorate. A new CNBC/Change Research poll this week found that 73% of Trump voters, apparently parroting the President’s baseless propaganda, believe that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. Should Trump decide to break away from the Republicans and start a political party of his own, 72% of those voters said they would gladly desert the GOP and follow him to a fledgling Trump Party.

If Trump really did run for president in 2015 primarily to bolster his brand and generate publicity—if he truly did think his long-shot candidacy would, if nothing else, lead to future media opportunities, or at the very least provide the upcoming season of The Apprentice with a ratings bump—then, all in all, the entire affair was a raging, unmitigated success. For all the talk of the Trump Organization’s sullied reputation and the millions of dollars in revenue lost as a result of Trump’s presidential joyride, the man himself will leave the White House with a built-in audience of tens of millions of Americans willing to hang on his every word and posture. As a public-facing brand, Trump’s is perhaps the most formidable in the history of American politics.

As such, there’s been heightened conjecture that Trump will finally realize what his presidency may have always been about in the first place: capitalizing on his burnished brand, and its fervent following, via a media venture of his own. Talk of “Trump TV” sprang up almost immediately after th

Read more: https://fortune.com/2020/11/26/trump-tv-network-political-polarization-2020-election/

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