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On September 15, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled on a Chinese complaint regarding the additional tariffs that the administration of US President Donald Trump has imposed on the amount of Chinese goods. cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
Specifically, the Committee of Experts, set up by the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Agency, ruled that the tariffs the US imposed on goods imported from China in 2018 were worth $ 400 billion, is “inconsistent with” global trade regulations, and “advises the US to take measures to fulfill its commitments.”
However, while the above ruling supports the claims of China, Washington can veto this decision by making an appeal within the next 60 days.
In a first response, the US declared the ruling unfair and the WTO had favored China. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer stated that the US “must have the right to defend itself against unfair trade rules and that the Trump administration will not let China take advantage of the WTO to have an advantage over workers and businesses.” , American farmers and ranchers. “
The US-China trade dispute focuses on US use of section 301 of the Commerce Act of 1974 to unilaterally initiate an anti-China trade dispute, accusing it of violating intellectual property laws and impose coercive policies on technology transfer.
The above provision allows the US President to impose taxes and other import restrictions when a country enforces unfair trade rules that affect US trade.
China argues that the aforementioned tariffs violate the most favored nation rules of the WTO because the above measures are not applied similarly to other countries.
China also alleges that the above tariffs violated a key provision in dispute settlement, requiring countries to appeal to the WTO before imposing retaliation against another country.
In the 1990s of the last century, the United States agreed to comply with the WTO dispute settlement process before taking any trade retaliation action.