U.S. asks for WTO panel over metals tariff retaliation

Sergio Conner
October 21, 2018

China has sought to determine an arbitration panel in a dispute with the US on the planet commerce group (WTO) due to the use by Washington of further duties on metal and aluminum, stories RIA "Novosti" as regards to the assertion of the Ministry of Commerce of China.

The requests were filed on Tuesday and they cover tariffs by China, the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, imposed after a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% duty on aluminum imports by the USA, introduced on national security grounds, the WTO meeting agenda wrote.

"To protect the credibility of the multilateral trading system and WTO rules, the Chinese side made the decision together with the relevant members of the organization to require the establishment of an arbitration panel for the dispute on tariffs the USA steel and aluminium", - stated in the statement on the website of the Ministry of Commerce of China.

China has already filed a request with the intergovernmental trade organisation calling for an expert group to determine the legality of the tariffs, its trade ministry said on Thursday.

China's commerce ministry said the USA government's decision to put the tariffs up so high was an act of protectionism and it seriously undermined multinational trade rules.

The ministry made the remarks in response to Brazil's opening of a consultation process at the WTO over China's trade measures on sugar imports.

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China has received Brazil's consultation request, and will properly handle it according to the WTO dispute settlement procedures, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

The dispute marks a new dimension to the ongoing skirmish between the United States and a number of its trading partners as well as the WTO itself, where it has blocked appointments of new judges.

Officials representing the other countries' trade delegations could not immediately be reached after normal business hours.

The tariff spat has escalated into an all-out trade war between the U.S. and China and growing trade tensions between Washington and many of its traditional allies.

"Therefore, together with the European Union and several others, we asked today the WTO to establish a dispute resolution panel on the USA additional duty", she said.

On Wednesday, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that trade negotiations with China have been paused, lowering expectations that the countries would be able to make substantial progress toward an agreement at an upcoming G20 meeting.

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