Last week China filed another complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the United States. The latest WTO complaint comes one day after the U.S. began imposing an additional 15 percent tariff on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods. Chinese officials have not released the details of the case they will be presenting to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body but indicated that the latest U.S. tariffs will impact $300 billion of Chinese exports.
“The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied and resolutely opposed to that. In accordance with relevant WTO rules, China will firmly safeguard its legitimate rights and interests,” Beijing’s commerce ministry said in a statement. “These American tariffs seriously violate the consensus reached by the leaders of our two countries in Osaka.”
Back in June, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to move forward with trade negotiations during a meeting between the two leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka. On top of filing a complaint, China is also implementing new duties on $75 billion in U.S. goods. The latest development marks the third time that China has lodged a WTO complaint against the U.S.
American officials published a written defense for the first of the three legal cases that read in part: “China has taken the unilateral decision to adopt aggressive industrial policy measures to steal or otherwise unfairly acquire the technology of its trading partners; the United States has adopted tariff measures to try to obtain the elimination of China’s unfair and distortive technology-transfer policies.”
WTO rules dictate that the U.S. will have 60 days to settle the most recent issue before China has the ability to seek WTO adjudication which could potentially last several years. If the WTO finds that the U.S. has broken the rules China will be allowed to take trade sanctions.