Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

China seeks WTO dispute settlement over United States safeguard measures, subsidies

China seeks WTO dispute settlement over United States safeguard measures, subsidies

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning took to Twitter, as he often does, to lambaste some of his favourite targets: the U.S. Justice Department, the "rigged Russian witch hunt" (a.k.a. the Robert Mueller investigation), and of course, undocumented immigrants.

The 30 percent tariffs announced in January improperly help USA producers in violation of WTO rules, the Commerce Ministry said.

In the latest development, Turkey announced Wednesday that it will increase tariffs on USA imports including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics, in response to Trump's decision last Friday to double the tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum. That strained relations with USA allies. It said import prices were unfairly low due to subsidies and other improper support.

On Jan. 22, Trump approved tariffs up to 50 percent on imported washing machines for the next three years, and duties as much as 30 percent on imported solar panels for the next four years.

Beijing said the United States measures are suspected of violating trade rules and that it would turn to the WTO's dispute resolution mechanism to protect its interests. In order to protect its trade interests, China has deemed necessary to resort to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

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China lodged its challenge at the WTO on Tuesday, the statement said. That led to complaints it was undermining the global trade body. One day later, the WTO received a complaint filed by India against the United States.

In their technology dispute, Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion (3.8 trillion yen) of Chinese goods it said benefit from improper industrial policies.

Another round of US tariff hikes on $16 billion of Chinese goods is due to take effect August 23.

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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