Global Update

China, U.S. File Complaints with World Trade Organization About Tariffs

China filed another complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 16, 2018 in response to the administration’s recently published list of $200 billion worth of Chinese products upon which it wants to implement a 10-percent tariff. That list includes plywood, metals and pigments, enamels and polishes used in the glass industry. Glass frit and other float glass products are also included in the preliminary list.

The administration said it plans to raise the proposed tariff amount to 25 percent. In response, China announced $60 billion worth of U.S. goods that it plans to subject to four levels of tariffs.

The U.S. filed complaints with the WTO in July. It filed five separate complaints against Canada, China, the European Union (EU), Mexico and Turkey in response to tariffs each imposed in response to U.S. aluminum and steel tariffs.

China filed a complaint with the WTO in April over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. On July 9, Switzerland filed a request for consultations with the WTO over these tariffs, which went into effect for the EU on June 1 after President Trump did not extend an earlier exemption. The Russian Federation, India, the EU, Canada, Mexico and Norway have also filed for consultations over the steel and aluminum tariffs since China’s original filing.

At a WTO meeting about the organization’s review of China’s trade policies, Ambassador Dennis Shea said, “It is clear, moreover, that the WTO currently does not offer all of the tools necessary to remedy this situation.”

He cited the need to create new rules to address the unique situation, which would be a complicated process.

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