China – traditionally the largest market for Australian winemakers – last year struck a 220 percent tariff on exports.
In March, Chinese officials announced that the tariffs would apply for five years, in a crippling move for Australian producers.
Last month, the Australian government tried to get the WTO to investigate the sanctions, but was blocked by China.
Canberra has also referred Beijing’s tariffs on Australian barley exports to the WTO.
Now a new third-party body of 15 countries – including New Zealand, Canada and the UK – will examine wine tariffs, a WTO official said.
In the year to September 2021, exports to China fell 77 percent to $ 274 million, down from the previous average of $ 1 billion a year, industry firm Wine Australia said.
Why the conflict over the South China Sea is important
Last week, Australian Ambassador George Mina said in a hard-hitting statement to the WTO that Chinese trade sanctions were “motivated by political considerations”.