The process was opened after consultation with Australian wine producers, the government said, saying it is open to direct dialogue with China to resolve the issue.
Australia and China are in a trade dispute. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously warned that his government would respond to any countries that try to use “economic cohesion” to punish Australian producers.
The measure was announced days after the G7 summit in the UK, the seven most industrialized countries, where Australia defended a strong crackdown on China’s trade practices.
In recent months, Beijing has imposed economic sanctions on various Australian products, such as tariffs on agricultural products, coal or wine, as well as measures against tourism.
Many voices in Australia believe this is retaliation for Australia’s rejection of Chinese investments in sectors considered strategic, as well as Australia’s demand to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic which debuted in China at the end of 2019.
Australia has already filed a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization over tariffs on barley exports.