U.S. launches WTO challenge against China

Nichole Vega
March 25, 2018

Countries affected by the measures, like China, can under WTO rules retaliate with tariffs on USA goods worth a sum equivalent to the trading loss they would suffer from the US tariffs. Though Beijing's actions so far are seen by analysts as measured, there may be more to come.

"We're very concerned about what might happen as far as a tariff", he said.

China is America's biggest foreign creditor. "Our country must stand up against China's trade blackmail, so I am encouraged that the administration is focused on protecting the technologies that China publicly targeted", Wyden said.

According to estimates by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a USA technology policy think tank, a 25-percent tariff on Chinese information and communications technology (ICT) imports would cost the US economy 332 billion dollars over the next 10 years. He said Trump and Xi agreed previous year on a 100-day agenda of trade-liberalization measures but Beijing failed to act on about half of them.

Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Yevtukhov has said Russia will challenge stiff new tariffs that the United States imposed this week on aluminum and steel imports before the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"This is number one, but it's the first of many", Donald Trump said. President Donald Trump authorized the exemptions late Thursday night.

"Trump left enough flexibility in how that $50 billion is calculated that he has room to make some headway with China even if the US ultimately does impose some tariffs", said Height Capital analyst Clayton Allen in an email. Trump himself has tweeted, saying trade wars are "good", and "easy to win".

The Trump administration already poked China in January with tariffs on imported solar panels. Trump also directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to propose new investment restrictions on Chinese companies within 60 days to safeguard technologies the US views as strategic, said senior White House economic adviser Everett Eissenstat.

Pauline Loong: China will do its best to try and defuse the situation, China doesn't want to hit back, it wants markets.

Trump campaigned on promises to bring down America's massive trade deficit — $566 billion past year — by rewriting trade agreements and cracking down on what he called abusive practices by USA trading partners. China also was the third-largest market for U.S. pork and fourth-largest market for United States beef by value in 2017.

The White House gave the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea, until May 1 to negotiate levies on steel and aluminum. A second list of goods, including wine, apples, ethanol and stainless steel pipe, would be charged 15 per cent, mirroring Trump's tariff hike on aluminum.

China has threatened to target United States exports of agricultural commodities, in particular the $14 billion in exports of soybeans.

The announcement of broader tariffs directed specifically at China sent equities tumbling.

"Actions taken outside these collective processes greatly increase the risk of escalation in a confrontation that will have no winners, and which could quickly lead to a less stable trading system", said Roberto Azevedo.

One is that USA consumers will be hurt.

It would be a major blow to USA farmers, as a third of their soybean exports go to China, in a business worth $14 billion previous year.

At a time when USA wine exports have been slipping overall, there's been growth in exports to China, where a rapidly growing middle class is adopting many Western tastes.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang this week urged Washington to act "rationally" and promised to open China up to more foreign products and investment.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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