China launches fresh WTO com­plaint against US, EU

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

China said yes­ter­day it had launched a com­plaint at the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion over the ap­proach used by the United States and Euro­pean Union to cal­cu­late anti-dump­ing mea­sures against Chi­nese ex­ports. When China joined the WTO in 2001, its ac­ces­sion terms al­lowed other WTO mem­bers to treat it as a non-mar­ket econ­omy when as­sess­ing dump­ing du­ties for 15 years.

That gave trade part­ners the ad­van­tage of us­ing a third coun­try’s prices to gauge whether China was sell­ing its goods be­low mar­ket value. But part of that clause ex­pired on Dec 11, which China says means trad­ing part­ners must drop their use of such sur­ro­gate pric­ing. US Com­merce Sec­re­tary Penny Pritzker said in Novem­ber the time was “not ripe” for the United States to change the way it eval­u­ates whether China has achieved mar­ket econ­omy sta­tus, and there was no in­ter­na­tional trade rules re­quir­ing changes in the way US anti-dump­ing du­ties are cal­cu­lated. China’s Com­merce Min­istry said in a state­ment on its web­site that 15 years on, all WTO mem­bers had an obli­ga­tion to stop us­ing the sur­ro­gate coun­try ap­proach.

“Re­gret­fully, the United States and Euro­pean Union have yet to ful­fil this obli­ga­tion,” the min­istry said.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said it had re­ceived the re­quest for con­sul­ta­tions, the first step in a WTO dis­pute. “We re­gret that China is launch­ing this dis­pute now de­spite the fact that the Com­mis­sion has al­ready made a pro­posal to amend the leg­is­la­tion in ques­tion,” a Com­mis­sion spokesman said.

The Com­mis­sion pro­posed last month a new way of treat­ing China, but its plans await ap­proval from the EU’s 28 mem­bers and the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment. Last week it an­gered Beijing by launch­ing an anti-dump­ing case un­der the old sys­tem - us­ing the prices of a third coun­try - just days be­fore the Dec. 11 dead­line.

Sep­a­rately, a Chi­nese min­istry of­fi­cial said in an­other state­ment a US in­ves­ti­ga­tion into what it re­gards as Chi­nese dump­ing of ply­wood prod­ucts launched last week amounted to abuse of emer­gency trade re­lief mea­sures. The United States and Euro­pean Union are some of the big­gest lev­ellers of an­tidump­ing mea­sures un­der this process against China. The mea­sures have se­ri­ously af­fected ex­ports and em­ploy­ment for Chi­nese firms, the min­istry added.

“China re­serves the right un­der WTO rules to res­o­lutely de­fend its le­gal rights,” it added, with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

The United States has re­peat­edly ar­gued that China’s mar­ket re­forms have fallen short of ex­pec­ta­tions, es­pe­cially in alu­minium and steel, where state in­ter­ven­tion has led to over­ca­pac­ity, threat­en­ing in­dus­tries around the world. — Reuters

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