China appeals WTO ruling on U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs

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20th September 2023 – (Beijing) China has lodged an appeal against a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel report that recognised the United States’ implementation of steel and aluminium tariffs as security measures, according to the Chinese commerce ministry on Tuesday.

Last month, a WTO dispute settlement panel ruled in favour of Washington in a tariff dispute with Beijing, stating that China had acted inconsistently with its WTO obligations by imposing additional duties on U.S. goods in response to American tariffs on steel and aluminium.

In 2018, under the previous administration of Donald Trump, the U.S. imposed a 25 per cent duty on steel imports and a 10 per cent duty on aluminium imports from various countries, including China. In retaliation, Beijing announced additional duties on certain imports originating from the U.S.

The Chinese commerce ministry released a statement claiming that the WTO panel’s ruling contains “legal errors.” It argued that the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports were unilateral and protectionist measures that had been found to violate WTO rules.

China is urging the U.S. to take practical actions, respect WTO rules, and rectify its illegal measures promptly, according to the ministry.

This appeal from Beijing comes at a time when tensions between China and the U.S. remain high, despite recent efforts to improve bilateral relations. Last month, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visited Beijing, becoming the latest Biden administration official to travel to China this year in an attempt to enhance communication and address concerns about the potential escalation of frictions between the two nations.