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China, U.S. to start countervailing consultations

(Xinhua)

08:17, July 09, 2012

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Commerce announced on Sunday that it will soon start formal consultations with the United States on the latter's 22 countervailing measures against Chinese exports.

A consultation request was filed by China to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on May 25. It is the first stage of a formal dispute settlement.

According to WTO rules, China can apply to set up a WTO panel to hear and rule on the case, if the two countries fail to produce satisfactory results in the 60 days following the request.

The consultation will run from July 18 to 19, the ministry said.

Twenty-two product categories, including steel, solar cells and paper, worth 7.29 billion U.S. dollars collectively, are involved, according to the ministry.

Li Chenggang, head of the ministry's Department of Treaty and Law, said the case reflects persistent wrongdoing by the United States in violating WTO rules.

Under the WTO mechanism, the United States has received 116 complaints from nations including Japan, the Republic of Korea and India, 60 of which are on its trade remedy measures, he noted.

"Many WTO members are concerned with how the United States implements WTO rules in the respect of trade remedy issues," Li said, adding that the United States should reflect on its practices, and abide by multilateral rules with integrity.

Regarding a U.S. complaint on China's anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on cars imported from the United States, Li said it's normal for trade partners to solve disputes through multilateral rules.

But he argued that, no matter how the case ends, the United States will not be able to achieve its multiple ambitions placed on the case, which include seeking to strengthen trade enforcement and boost auto sector jobs.

In response to a consultation request on the car imports case filed by the United States on Thursday, the ministry said it will properly handle the request in accordance with WTO dispute settlement procedures.

In December last year, China announced it would levy anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on sedans and sports utility vehicles with engines of 2.5 liters and above imported from the United States, after an investigation showed evidence of dumping.

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