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International Relations

US-China Move to WTO

  • 03 Sep 2019
  • 2 min read

Recently, China has lodged a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over raised import duties by the US.

  • The US has recently imposed 15% tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods. In retaliation China imposed new duties on US crude oil, escalating the trade war between the two.
    • Around $300 billion of Chinese exports are expected to get affected by this move of the US.
  • The latest tariff actions violate the consensus reached by the leaders of China and the United States in a meeting in Osaka.


  • This is the third legal suit filed by China at WTO challenging US protectionism policy against Chinese exports.
  • The US defended its move by claiming that it is penalizing China’s distortive technology-transfer policies.
    • Also, these measures were necessary to protect public morals- a clause that was used in the past to argue for trade restrictions over gambling, animal rights, and public broadcasting.
    • The Intellectual property (IPR) rules are not covered under WTO.
  • Under WTO rules, the US has 60 days to try to settle the latest dispute with China. Then China could ask the WTO to adjudicate.

Way Forward

  • China’s decision to fight fire with fire without WTO’s approval just escalates the trade tensions between the two nations.
  • If the United States is found to have broken the rules, China with WTO’s approval can retaliate against the trade sanctions.
  • Even though it is a lengthy and time-consuming process, the settlement of disputes through international conventions and rules is the need of the hour.

Source: Mint

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