U.S. broke tariff law, WTO rules
World Trade Organization judges said on Monday the United States broke its rules in imposing hefty duties on Chinese steel products, solar panels and a range of other goods that Washington argues enjoyed government subsidies.
In a similar case involving American methods in deciding when foreign imports are unfairly priced, another WTO panel ruled in support of some claims by India against tariffs on steel exports from three of its major firms.
In the $7.2 billion Chinese case, the panel found that Washington had overstepped the mark in justifying the so-called countervailing duties it imposed as a response to alleged subsidies to exporting firms by China's government.
Under the 1964 Marrakesh accords, which set up the WTO, those duties can be levied only when there is clear evidence that state-owned or partially state-owned enterprises passing on the subsidies are “public bodies.”
The panel found that Washington had produced insufficient evidence for that, and was at fault in its calculations of the value of the subsidies to Chinese firms producing items such as kitchen shelving, grass cutters and citric acid.
Trade diplomats said the two cases, under scrutiny for nearly two years by separate panels, reflected widespread concern in the 160-member WTO about what many view as illegal U.S. protection of its producers.
The ruling, which gave the United States some comfort in rejecting some aspects of the Chinese complaint, was welcomed in a statement from China's Ministry of Commerce distributed by Beijing's trade mission in Geneva.
“China urges the United States to respect the WTO rulings and correct its wrongdoings of abusively using trade remedy measures, and to ensure an environment of fair competition for Chinese enterprises,” the statement said.
“With respect to the other findings in the panel report, the Administration is carefully evaluating its options, and will take all appropriate steps to ensure that U.S. remedies against unfair subsidies remain strong and effective,” said U.S. Trade Representitive Michael Froman.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Financial planning for disabled people a little-tapped field
- AT&T evolves beyond phones
- This robot is cute, artificially intelligent and employed
- How to cover work history gaps
- Keep pesky neighbors from stealing your Internet
- FAA: Cockpit email system reduces delays
- Taxes matter in fund investing, even when there’s no bill
- Drenching rains green pastures, bode well for cattle herd expansion in Great Plains
- Shareholder vote causes ATI to review executive pay packages
- Murray Energy expects to lay off as many as 1,800 more
- Cheap oil can hurt economy