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China complains to WTO over US tariffs

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is now formally involved in the tariff dispute between China and the US.

Following the imposition by the US of extra tariffs on a new list of imports from China on September 1, China initiated a dispute at the WTO.

In a statement, the Geneva-based organisation said: “China has requested dispute consultations with the US concerning additional duties imposed by the US on imports of Chinese goods that took effect on September 1.”

It explained that China claims the US duties are inconsistent with the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 in that they apply solely to products of Chinese origin and exceed the US’s bound duty rates.

As a next step, the WTO has opened the matter up for consultation to give both parties “an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation”. After 60 days, if consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, China may request adjudication by a panel.

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