Chinese duties on U.S. imports ‘inconsistent’ with WTO obligations

GENEVA (Reuters) – A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel on Wednesday found that China had acted inconsistently with its WTO obligations by imposing additional duties on certain imports from the United States.

The extra Chinese duties were imposed in response to those adopted by the United States on the import of steel and aluminium products.

The U.S. imposed a 25% duty on steel imports and a 10% duty on aluminium imports in March 2018 based on the Donald Trump administration’s “Section 232” national security investigation into steel and aluminum imports.

The WTO ruled last year that the U.S. move had violated international trade rules.

In response to the U.S. duties, China announced that additional duties of between 15% and 25% would apply to certain imports originating in the United States, a measure challenged by Washington.

The United States agreed to remove tariffs on EU imports in 2021 but President Joe Biden’s administration has otherwise kept in place the metals tariffs that were one of the centrepieces of Trump’s America First strategy.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Editing by Rachel More and Devika Syamnath)