BRUSSELS, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization
authorized China on Wednesday to impose $645 million of
compensatory tariffs against the United States, a ruling that
was immediately blasted by Washington.
China went to the WTO in 2012 to challenge anti-subsidy
tariffs the United States imposed between 2008 and 2012, mainly
during the term of U.S. President Barack Obama, on 22 Chinese
products ranging from solar panels to steel wire.
The decade-long case involving alleged subsidies has centered
on whether the United States could treat Chinese firms in which
the government owns a majority stake as controlled by the state.
The United States, which has argued that China benefits from
easier treatment at the WTO while subsidizing manufactured goods
and dumping them on world markets, said the decision underscored
the need to reform WTO rules that had been used to "shield
Chinas non-market economic practices and undermine fair,
"The deeply disappointing decision today by the WTO
arbitrator reflects erroneous Appellate Body interpretations
that damage the ability of WTO members to defend our workers and
businesses from Chinas trade-distorting subsidies," Adam Hodge,
spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, said in
China had initially asked the three-person WTO panel to
award it the right to impose tariffs on $2.4 billion of U.S.
The actual award is dwarfed by U.S. tariffs on more than
$300 billion of Chinese goods imposed by then-U.S. President
Donald Trump, most of which are still in place.
However, the ruling was another symbolic victory for Beijing
at the Geneva-based trade body. In November 2019, the WTO
awarded China https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-trade-us-wto-idUSKBN1XB4K0
the right to retaliatory tariffs of $3.58 billion after finding
fault with the way Washington determined whether Chinese
products are being dumped on the U.S. market.
"The ruling once again attested that the United States has
long violated WTO rules, abused trade remedy measures and
refused to fulfill its international obligations ordered by WTO
or stipulated in WTO rules. This has seriously damaged the fair
and just international trade environment," Gao Feng, spokesman
for China's Ministry of Commerce, said on Thursday.
"China urges the U.S. to stop looking for excuses and
immediately take action to correct its wrongdoings in trade
remedy investigations against China," Gao told a news
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; additional reporting by Andrea
Shalal in Washington and Stella Qiu in Beijing
Editing by Mark Potter, Jonathan Oatis and Mark Heinrich)