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Australia  lobby pitches for more cuts in wine tariffs

Negotiations on alcoholic beverages with Australia may form the template for deals with other developed nations.Premium
Negotiations on alcoholic beverages with Australia may form the template for deals with other developed nations.

The Australian wine industry is pitching for further cuts in duty ahead of India-Australia negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement next month. Experts believe the negotiations on alcoholic beverages with Australia could become the template for future deals with other developed nations such as the UK.

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Ravi Dutta Mishra & Dilasha Seth

new delhi

The Australian wine industry is pitching for further cuts in duty ahead of India-Australia negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement next month.

Experts believe the negotiations on alcoholic beverages with Australia could become the template for future deals with other developed nations such as the UK.

An association representing 2,500 Australian winemakers said its members are looking for further cuts in import tariffs in the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations.

The Australian wine industry has been under pressure ever since China hiked its duty on Australian wines to over 200% in 2020. “A strong collaborative relation improves our ability to advocate for policy, technical and regulatory improvements as well as supporting advocacy for further reduction in import tariffs under the next negotiating rounds for the CECA," Australia’s national association of winegrape and wine producers said.

For the first time, India reduced tariffs on alcoholic beverages in an FTA, and agreed to reduce duties on Australian wines with a minimum import price of $5 per bottle from 150% to 100% on the deal’s implementation and subsequently to 50% over 10 years. For bottles over $15, the duty will be reduced from 150% to 75%, and, subsequently, to 25% over 10 years.

“Australia looks forward to resuming negotiations on a full Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India as soon as possible. In CECA, we will be seeking to build upon Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement outcomes in goods and services, and include cross-cutting issues, such as digital trade, and new areas of cooperation," the spokesperson of the Australian High Commission said.

Queries sent to the commerce and industry ministry on Monday remained unanswered at press time

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