China asks WTO to create a new Commission for US

21 October, 2018, 17:03 | Author: Wade Massey
  • The US says its tariffs on imported steel and aluminium imposed earlier this year are allowed under the WTO's national security exemption

"To protect the credibility of the multilateral trading system and WTO rules, the Chinese side made the decision together with the relevant members of the organization to require the establishment of an arbitration panel for the dispute on tariffs the US steel and aluminium", - stated in the statement on the website of the Ministry of Commerce of China.

The U.S. administration said the tariffs - 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminum - are allowed under the WTO's national security exemption, which permits governments to take "any action which it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests".

The US is meanwhile planning to request that the DSB create another set of expert panels to review the legality of retaliatory tariffs imposed by China, Canada, the European Union and Mexico.

"Once the panel is established and composed, the EU is ready to demonstrate that the United States' import duties are WTO-inconsistent and to obtain a ruling that condemns the U.S. and brings relief to the EU industry", an EU Commission spokesperson said.

China's commerce ministry said Wednesday that the country's management measures on sugar imports were in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Norway said initial consultations with the United States had not led to an agreeable solution, and therefore the Nordic country had joined others in asking the WTO to set up the panel to obtain an independent assessment of the matter.

A spokeswoman for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative didn't immediately respond to a request for comment; a WTO spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

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The dispute marks a new dimension to the ongoing skirmish between the United States and a number of its trading partners as well as the WTO itself, where it has blocked appointments of new judges.

The tariff spat has escalated into an all-out trade war between the USA and China and growing trade tensions between Washington and many of its traditional allies.

"We believe that the additional USA duty on steel and aluminum is contrary to WTO rules", Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement, adding that Norway, as well as others, would be asking for an independent assessment of the matter.

"We believe that additional United States duty on steel and aluminum is contrary to WTO rules", Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement.

Mexico and China are still subjected to the metals tariffs despite striking a deal to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

On Tuesday, EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom held talks with Ross in Brussels on improving trade relations, though Washington accused the bloc of moving too slowly in negotiations.

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