WTO rules against parallel US duties on Chinese OTR tyres

The United Steelworkers has described a decision made by the Appeals body of the World Trade Organization as “a slap in the face to US workers and industries that are harmed by China’s predatory trade practices.” The decision reverses the findings of a WTO panel report from last year on anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings for off-road tyres and a number of other products from China; specifically, the WTO states the US Department of Commerce acted erroneously by simultaneous levying both anti-dumping and countervailing duties on these products.

The USW believes this latest WTO decision will undercut the Unites States’ ability to “fully and effectively apply” countervailing duty and anti-dumping laws against China. “Today’s decision from the WTO is very troubling,” said Leo W. Gerard, international president of the USW. “This is yet another example of the WTO overreaching and undermining the legitimacy of the WTO and the sovereignty of the United States.

“When China joined the WTO in 2001, it agreed to be treated as a non-market economy in dumping cases and to be subject to countervailing duty laws,” Gerard continued. “Today the Appellate Body appears to have created special carve outs for China that neither the US nor anyone else agreed to ten years ago. China is the world’s number two economy and number one exporter, and it maintains a massive trade surplus with the U.S. and the world. The WTO needs to make sure China plays by the same rules as everyone else, and ensure all countries can effectively enforce their trade laws when their workers and industries are being injured by predatory dumping and massive, trade-distorting subsidies.”

Gerard and the USW believe it will be “extremely difficult” for workers to have any confidence in the benefits of trade when an international tribunal can override US trade rules and harm its workers and industries. China, on the other hand, has welcomed the WTO decision as a remedy to an “illegal and unfair” practice. The country’s Ministry of Commerce said it hoped the US will correct its errors with regards to trade policies against Chinese imports and ensure fairness in the market.

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