US rejects China's 'baseless' retaliatory tariffs, WTO protest

Apr 06, 2018, 07:54 IST | Agencies

The United States rejected as "baseless" China's retaliatory tariffs and complaint in the World Trade Organization over the US tariffs recently imposed on steel and aluminium imports

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The United States rejected as "baseless" China's retaliatory tariffs and complaint in the World Trade Organization over the US tariffs recently imposed on steel and aluminium imports.

But, China invoked the WTO dispute process under a different rule, which does not apply, meaning Beijing's threat of retaliatory tariffs on $3 billion in US exports is not justified, the US Trade Representative's office said. A request for consultation is the first step in the WTO's dispute settlement process.

WTO allows temporary tariffs on imports -- known as safeguards -- as an emergency move when a flood of goods "threatens to cause serious injury" to domestic industry. But the global trade body also allows import restrictions based on national security concerns. "Consequently, there is no basis under WTO rules for China's decision this week to raise tariffs against over $3 billion in US exports," USTR said.

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