China urges US to lift Section 232 tariffs on Chinese steel, aluminum products
Published: Aug 17, 2023 02:05 AM
Steel rolls are seen at a factory of Ansteel in Anshan City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Aug 19, 2021. Photo:Xinhua

Steel rolls are seen at a factory of Ansteel in Anshan city, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, August 19, 2021. Photo:Xinhua

An official from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Wednesday urged the US to immediately lift its Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum which violate WTO rules. The remarks come in response to a WTO panel report regarding the dispute.

The official said that the root cause of this case lies in US unilateralism and protectionist actions. China's countermeasures are a legitimate response to safeguard its own legitimate rights and interests.

Since March 2018, the US has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum products from multiple WTO members, including China, on the basis of so-called "security concerns." The move has caused widespread dissatisfaction. China and some WTO members have turned to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism to address the issue, the official said.

In December 2022, a WTO ruling said that the US tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products were in breach of its rules. The 25 percent taxes on steel imports and 10 percent import tariffs on aluminum imposed under former US president Donald Trump violate WTO rules, according to the ruling.

However, the US has consistently rejected the ruling and refused to remove the tariffs. China demands that the US immediately lift the tariffs that violate WTO rules and work with other WTO members to uphold the rules-based multilateral trading system, the official said.

Chinese industry associations and experts also urged the US to correct its wrongdoing.

The WTO panel's ruling is solemn proof that the US is practicing unilateralism and protectionism in the name of national security, which has seriously undermined the rules-based multilateral trading system, the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) and China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said in December. They urged the US to correct its wrongdoing and create a good international trade environment.

Chinese experts also said the US' selfish and arrogant attitude has seriously disrupted the functioning of the global trading system.

Global Times