WTO: US tariffs on China violated trade rules

Date: 16 Sep 2020

Washington failed to show justification for restrictions

The United States violated international regulations when it imposed tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018, the World Trade Organization, or WTO, has announced.

In a report released on Tuesday, a panel of WTO experts determined that the US did not have a satisfactory justification for placing tariffs on goods from China two years ago, in a move that escalated trade frictions between the two nations.

"The panel notes that it had reached the preliminary conclusion that the United States had not met its burden of demonstrating that its measures were provisionally justified," the report stated.

"In particular, the United States had not met its burden of demonstrating how its restrictions contributed to protecting its public morals and did not extend beyond what was necessary."

When moving forward with the tariffs, Washington invoked Section 301 of the US Trade Act of 1974, which authorizes the president to impose trade restrictions and tariffs on foreign nations that unfairly hinder US commerce.

President Donald Trump's administration claimed that the tariffs were justified due to Chinese rules pertaining to market entry for foreign companies, as well as alleged violations of intellectual property rights.

By late 2019, the US had threatened tariffs on about $550 billion worth of Chinese imports.

In response, China lodged a lawsuit with the WTO, and claimed that the US violated articles in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, a legal agreement between countries aimed at reducing barriers to trade.

The US has the option to appeal against the WTO decision over the next 60 days.

Source: China Daily

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