After benefiting from ridiculous preferential treatment by the World Trade Organization under “emerging nation” status for the past two decades, Beijing now turns to the WTO and files a complaint against the U.S. over recent tariffs and countervailing duties.
The substance to Beijing’s complaint is silly. China claims there was a “leadership agreement” during the Osaka G20 summit not to apply additional tariffs. However, the latest round of U.S. tariffs on China were in response to Chinese tariffs applied after Osaka. Bottom line, Beijing is playing political games.
China, once again playing the wounded panda routine, is trying to set up a narrative that President Trump has broken his word. That’s the cornerstone of their position, and they know such a complaint won’t go anywhere at the WTO; the complaint is really for the use, exploitation, and consumption by President Trump’s political opposition, domestic and international. (emphasis mine)
HONG KONG/GENEVA (Reuters) – China has lodged a complaint against the United States at the World Trade Organization over U.S. import duties, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Monday.
The United States began imposing 15% tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday and China began imposing new duties on U.S. crude oil, the latest escalation in their trade war.
China did not release details of its legal case but said the U.S. tariffs affected $300 billion of Chinese exports. The latest tariff actions violated the consensus reached by leaders of China and the United States in a meeting in Osaka, the Commerce Ministry said in the statement. (more)
China did not release details of the legal case because there is no legal case. You cannot go to the WTO and say: ‘but, he promised to buy my pickles‘…. because the WTO will ask you to prove the contract. There isn’t a contract. The whole claim is silly.
Notice how the claim comes from the “China Commerce Ministry”.
Those who are following closely will note the dragon face behind the panda mask of Vice-Premier Liu He is Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan.
This political scheme, to complain to the WTO, is specifically from Zhong Shan and Beijing counts on Americans being to stupid to understand what is going on.
The aggregate U.S. position on tariffs relates to countervailing duties being used as sanctions against the practice of: (A) intellectual property theft; and, (B) forced transfer of technology. The U.S. position is that the tariffs are countervailing payments due to both issues.
The U.S. position on all enhanced tariffs against China, as explained to the WTO, falls under the category of “measures necessary to protect public morals.” China is stealing the intellectual property of the U.S, another WTO member, and therefore violating WTO rules.
There is clear evidence of these illegal practices, and the U.S. has already outlined the case.
Within international trade agreements each nation can protect their interests by using the clause “public morals” and “cultural industries.” This is the same way Canada keeps media competition out of their country in the technology sector of the USMCA.
In the U.S. example the theft of intellectual property and forced tech transfer in order to do business with China, are clear examples of China violating international trade rules and “public morals”, stealing is not allowed; and the U.S. tariffs are applied and upheld based on that obvious -and internationally accepted- authority.
Beijing is just playing a political panda game with their ‘complaint’ to the WTO about the latest tariffs. They are looking for allies to join them in their Orange-Man-Bad narrative.