U.S. issues first challenge to WTO over Chinese compliance claim

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, January 13, 2014 16:35 EDT
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Steel beams used for construction of the 1 World Trade Center sit on the ground as construction continues at the World Trade Center site on Sept. 7, 2011 in New York City [AFP]
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The United States on Monday challenged China’s claim that it has complied with World Trade Organization rules regarding duties on certain US steel products.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman announced that the United States was requesting that China enter into consultations over Beijing’s claim that it has brought its duties on US exports of grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES) into compliance with WTO rules.

The request marks the first time the United States has launched a proceeding in the Geneva-based international trade body to challenge a claim by China that it has complied in a WTO dispute, the USTR said.

“The WTO found that China’s duties are inconsistent with WTO rules. We were right, and China was wrong. Unfortunately, it appears that China has not corrected those inconsistencies,” Froman said in a statement.

According to the USTR, China’s actions cut off more than $250 million in US exports of the high-tech steel product used primarily in the power-generating industry.

The magnetic US rolled steel is made by AK Steel Corporation, based in Ohio, and Allegheny Ludlum, based in Pennsylvania.

The dispute dates back to September 2010 when Washington accused China of breaching trade rules by not providing sufficient evidence that antidumping duties were needed on US imports of the specialist steel.

In June 2012 the WTO ruled in favor of the United States complaint. China, after losing an appeal of the decision, pledged in November that year to change its restrictive policy to comply with the ruling.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Agence France-Presse
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