Review of worldwide retaliation against US-initiated global trade battle

17 August, 2018, 16:55 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
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China lodged its challenge at the WTO on Tuesday, the statement said.

The Commerce Ministry said Wednesday the 30 percent tariffs announced in January violate WTO rules and improperly help USA producers.

US President Donald Trump approved steep tariffs on solar panel imports in January to protect US producers, triggering an outcry from China, South Korea and even protests from the US solar industry. That strained relations with USA allies.

"As the USA violations have severely distorted the global market for products like photovoltaics and seriously damaged China's trade interests, China's use of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism is a necessary measure to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and maintain multilateral trade rules", the statement said.

Washington took action under a 1974 US law instead of through the WTO.

"I don't think the complaint is necessarily a good thing for Chinese solar industry since it adds more uncertainties to the big (trade) war", he added.

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China has tried to portray itself as a defender of the WTO-based trading system.

The U.S. measures are suspected of violating WTO Agreement on Safeguards. It has attempted to recruit European and other governments as allies against Washington, but they echo USA complaints about Chinese market barriers and industrial policy. "We urge the USA side to take practical action, respect WTO rules and abandon its wrong practices, to bring the trade of related products back to normal".

WTO complaints begin with negotiations between the parties to the conflict. One Chinese executive told Reuters that USA solar tariffs were a "sideshow" and had little effect on Chinese business.

On May 31, Canada announced it would impose "dollar-for-dollar" tariffs on 16.6 billion Canadian dollars (12.7 billion dollars) worth of US imports on July 1 if Washington does not drop its steel and aluminum tariff threat.

The two governments have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods.

After the application of these first taxes, China responded with a package of tariff countermeasures of equal weight to products of the North American nation.

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