The World Trade Organization must have a binding dispute settlement system to deal with the growing use of “economic coercion,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday as Canberra seeks the support of G7 countries in its dispute with China. .
Relations with China, which were already rocky after Australia banned Huawei from the nascent 5G broadband network in 2018, cooled further after Canberra called for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic for the first time this year. reported in central China last year.
China has responded by imposing tariffs on Australian goods, including wine and barley, and limited imports of Australian beef, coal and grapes, steps described by the United States as “economic coercion.”
Australia has said it will not comply with Chinese pressure, and has appealed to the WTO to impose tariffs on China totaling more than 80 percent, effectively blocking trade for billions of dollars.
But as the call is likely to take years, Morrison called on the G7 to approve WTO reform ahead of his ministerial conference in November.
“The most practical way to deal with economic coercion is to restore the global trade authority’s binding dispute settlement system,” Morrison said in a speech in Perth.
“Where there are no consequences for coercive behavior, there is little incentive for restraint.”
Morrison said many world leaders have expressed support for Australia’s position, but countries with unanimity must now step up cooperation.
“It’s a lot for Australia, for our region and really for the world.”
Our standards: Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.