Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/05/2013
We reported yesterday that Europe, in a surprising escalation of global trade wars, announced it would impose solar-panel duties against China in one week, with the terms rapidly deteriorating over the next three months. It took China less than one day to retaliate. What’s worse the retaliation is aimed at Europe’s already weakest – the PIIGS – by targeting not hard German machinery exports but something far more prosaic: French, Spanish and Italian wine.
Reuters reports that “in a step targeting southern European states such as France and Italy that back the duties but largely sparing north European opponents such as Germany, Beijing said it launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into sales of European wine. The Chinese ministry said the government had begun the probe into EU wines at the request of Chinese wine makers.
“The Commerce Ministry has already received an application from the domestic wine industry, which accuses wines imported from Europe of entering China’s market by use of unfair trade tactics such as dumping and subsidies,” it said in a statement.
“We have noted the quick rise in wine imports from the EU in recent years, and we will handle the investigation in accordance with the law.”
The move appeared largely symbolic and less severe than if China had targeted hi-tech exports such as Airbus aircraft, made by Toulouse-based European aerospace group EADS.
Beijing imported 430 million liters of wine last year, of which more than two-thirds came from the EU, according to Chinese customs figures. Imports from France alone came to 170 million liters.
Short Diageo and Pernod?
Continue reading at Trade Wars: The Chinese Empire Strikes Back | Zero Hedge.