The World Trade Organization found on Tuesday that the United States violated global trade rules by imposing multibillion-dollar tariffs in President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, a ruling that attracted anger from Washington.
The Trump administration says that more than $ 200 billion in fees were levied in Chinese goods two years ago as China was stealing intellectual property and forcing American companies to transfer technology to access China’s markets Was.
But a three-member panel of the World Trade Organization stated that US duties broke trade rules because they applied only in China and were above the maximum rates agreed to by the United States. Washington then did not adequately explain why its measures were a reasonable exception, the panel concluded.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in response, “The Trump administration has been saying to the Trump administration for four years that the WTO is completely inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices.”
China’s Ministry of Commerce stated that Beijing supports the multilateral trade system and respects WTO rules and regulations, and expects Washington to do the same.
The decision will have little impact on US tariffs and is only the beginning of a legal process that can take years to play, ultimately leading to the WTO approving it if it already approves retaliatory measures – So it goes that China has already taken over on its own.
The United States is likely to appeal Tuesday’s decision. However, the case would be put into legal void, as Washington has already halted the appointment of judges to the WTO’s appellate body to prevent the summoning of the minimum number of cases required to be heard.
The WTO panel knew it was going into hot water. It noted that it had focused only on US measures and not on China’s retaliation, which Washington has not challenged in the World Trade Organization.
The 66-page report states, “The WTO system is much more conscious of the panel in the broader context currently underway, reflecting a range of unprecedented global trade tensions.”
The panel recommended the United States bring measures “in line with its obligations”, but encouraged both sides to work to resolve the overall dispute.
“Time is available for the parties to take stock as the proceedings develop and further consider opportunities for mutually agreed and satisfactory solutions,” it said.
During a two-year trade war with Beijing, Trump threatened tariffs on almost all Chinese imports – more than $ 500 billion – after the two countries signed a “Phase 1” trade agreement in January. Additional customs duties are still at around $ 370 billion on Chinese goods, and a $ 62.16 billion fee has been collected since July 2018, US Customs data show.
Trump has described the WTO as “horrible” and biased towards China, often threatening to leave.
However, during ABC News Town Hall on Tuesday, Trump continued to back a trade deal he signed with China in January, and suggested that Beijing was now buying record amounts of American corn, soybeans and beef as Chinese leaders know Was that he was “very, very sad” about dealing with the coronovirus epidemic.
As he left the White House for that incident, Trump said he would “have to do something about the WTO because he has driven China away from the assassination.”
He said he needed to take a closer look at the ruling, but added: “I am not a huge fan of the World Trade Organization – that I can tell you right now. Maybe they did us a big favor.”
Former USTR official Margaret Sekuta said the decision could help thwart Trump’s decision to leave the World Trade Organization or Trump’s decision to reform the 25-year-old trade body. .
“It is out of date for the WTO to tell the administration repeatedly,” KTUA said, adding that a principal with the Capital Council lobbying firm said US officials argued that the WTO’s inability to rule on intellectual property made it Has made you sick. Deal with the global economy.
The important trump of multilateral institutions has already left the UN cultural organization UNESCO and plans to leave the World Health Organization.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)