US and China Both Claim WTO Victory in Tariff Dispute

The United States claimed victory in a recent trade spat with China over anti-dumping charges placed on imports pipes, tubes, OTR tyres and sacks. US Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk told the AFP news agency that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had broadly upheld Washington’s right to place duties on goods from China that were unfairly subsidised: “This is a significant win for American workers and businesses affected by unfairly traded imports.”

Nevertheless a report produced by China’s Xinhua news agency suggests the People’s Republic would like to present the 22 October WTO ruling as falling in its favour. China welcomed the fact that the WTO found that the US imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on four types of Chinese imports was inconsistent with WTO regulations, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said a day after the ruling was published.

The part of WTO ruling dealing with OTR tyres also appeared to be a “no score draw.” While on the one hand it stated that China did not establish claims that the US Department of Commerce (USDOC) acted inconsistently with its legal obligations in certain areas.

China said it will consider using its right to appeal the decision to reject the bulk of the country’s complaints.

Readers can make up their own minds about the WTO ruling by reading the trade organisations conclusions here.

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