China disputes latest US tariffs at World Trade Organization [UPDATED]
Request opens 60-day period for the two countries to hold talks.
GENEVA—China is challenging the latest round of U.S. tariffs against Chinese goods through the World Trade Organization.
The Chinese government on Monday formally requested “dispute consultations” with the United States over the Trump administration’s imposition of US$16 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods last week. China has responded with similar taxes on U.S. goods.
Its request to the World Trade Organization opens a 60-day period for the two countries to hold talks.
China already is holding talks with the U.S. about its previous tariffs on both Chinese steel and aluminum products and over alleged Chinese violations of U.S. intellectual property protections.
All told, the administration is preparing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products. China has vowed to retaliate on American goods worth $60 billion.
Separately, the U.S. ambassador to the WTO, Dennis Shea, told a WTO body that the United States would not support the reappointment of Shree Baboo Chekitan Servansing as a member of the WTO’s appellate body, according to a transcript of his remarks in the closed-door session.
If that holds up, the appellate body will fall to three members when Servansing’s term expires on Sept. 30. Three is the minimum number of members for the appellate body to rule on cases.
Critics say the United States is trying to asphyxiate the appellate body. The next expiration of a member’s term looms in December next year, and the appellate body would become inoperable if new appointments or reappointments aren’t made before then.
Shea says the U.S. has long believed the appellate body has operated beyond the terms of its original mandate, and blasted “persistent overreaching” with its decisions on issues like subsidies and antidumping duties, and by “restricting the ability of the United States to regulate in the public interest or protect U.S. workers and businesses against unfair trading practices.”
He said U.S. concerns about the appellate body have not been addressed.