US trade investigation against China violates WTO rules: expert

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/15 12:05:14

The frequent US trade investigations against Chinese exports is itself a violation of WTO rules and could hurt the interests of both nations, a Chinese expert said on Thursday.

The comment comes after the US Commerce Department announced in a preliminary finding on Wednesday that "Chinese exporters have sold cast iron soil pipe fittings in the US at 68.37 percent to 109.05 percent less than fair value," and China is hurting US manufactures of the fittings by "dumping" its products on the US market. The US Commerce Department is scheduled to announce its final determination on June 27.

In 2016, imports of cast iron soil pipe fittings from China were valued at an estimated $8.6 million. 

Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday that the recent moves by the US violate WTO rules and the principle of fair trade. 

"Foreign nations should no longer apply the surrogate country approach when launching trade investigations against Chinese imports," he said. Under WTO rules, the surrogate country approach was no longer feasible for evaluating China's trade practices because the country has joined the trade organization for more than 15 years.

Bai noted that there is a slew of measures that China can take to protect its rights and show the US that "we have teeth."

Since taking the presidency, the Trump administration "has initiated 94 investigations into unfair subsidies and dumping, where a company exports products at artificially lower prices," Reuters reported. 

In January, the US slapped a 30 percent tariff on components of solar panels and washing machine imports of up to 50 percent, with the rate declining over the next few years. In February, China also launched anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into imports of sorghum from the US. 

Posted in: ECONOMY

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