China Charges WTO Dispute Against United States and Europe

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On Monday, China took on the World Trade Organization by charging a dispute resolution case over the United States and the European Union calculating anti-dumping measures against Chinese exports. China has been a member of the WTO since 2001 when it vowed to let WTO members treat it as a non-market economy for a 15-year assessment of dumping duties. In turn, this allowed trade partners to use third country prices to measure whether China was selling its goods below market value.

The clause officially expired on Dec. 11 of this year, and China is now demanding that countries follow through on the agreement. China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement that after 15 years, all WTO members had an obligation to stop the approach. “Regretfully, the United States and the European Union have yet to fulfill this obligation,” the ministry said.

Another ministry official made the claim that the U.S. was abusing its power in its investigation of the dumping duties. “China reserves the right under WTO rules to resolutely defend its legal rights,” said the official without elaboration.

In November, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said the time was “not ripe” for the United States to change the way it evaluates whether China has achieved market economy status. Ptizker also cites that there are no international trade rules requiring changes in the way U.S. anti-dumping duties are officially calculated.

China’s market reforms, according to repetitive arguments by the United States, have fallen short of expectations, especially in aluminum and steel. State intervention has led to oversupply and overcapacity, which is threatening industries around the world.

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