World Trade Organization faults U.S. over Trump’s China tariffs

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The World Trade Organization on Tuesday upheld a complaint by China over additional duties slapped by the U.S. on some $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

A panel of experts set up by WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body ruled the tariffs were “inconsistent” with global trade rules, and recommended that the U.S. “bring its measures into conformity with its obligations”.

The panel was created in January last year to review U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to hit China with tariffs on a quarter of a trillion dollars’ worth of goods.

The tariffs imposed in 2018 marked the beginning of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

China’s representative told the organisation at the time that the tariffs imposed were “a blatant breach of the U.S.’ obligations under the WTO agreements and is posing a systemic challenge to the multilateral trading system”.

U.S. slams WTO

The U.S. responded defiantly, blasting the organization as “completely inadequate” in holding Beijing accountable.

“The U.S. must be allowed to defend itself against unfair trade practices, and the Trump administration will not let China use the WTO to take advantage of American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

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