WTO Takes Chinese Side Over U.S. Tariffs

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World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva.
World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva. (AFP)

The World Trade Organization authorised Communist China on Wednesday to impose $645 million of compensatory tariffs against the United States, a ruling that was immediately blasted by Washington.

Beijing went to the WTO in 2012 to challenge anti-subsidy tariffs the United States imposed between 2008 and 2012, mainly during the term of U.S. President Barack Obama, on 22 Chinese products ranging from solar panels to steel wire.

The decade-long case involving alleged subsidies has centred on whether the United States could treat Chinese firms in which the government owns a majority stake as controlled by the state.

The United States, which has argued that China benefits from easier treatment at the WTO while subsidising manufactured goods and dumping them on world markets, said the decision underscored the need to reform WTO rules that had been used to “shield China’s non-market economic practices and undermine fair, market-oriented competition”.

The deeply disappointing decision today by the WTO arbitrator reflects erroneous Appellate Body interpretations that damage the ability of WTO members to defend our workers and businesses from China’s trade-distorting subsidies, Mr. Adam Hodge, spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, said in a statement.

Communist China had initially asked the three-person WTO panel to award it the right to impose tariffs on $2.4 billion of U.S. goods.

 


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