US chal­lenges Chi­nese wind power sub­si­dies at WTO

The Pak Banker - - International -

WASHINGTON: The long list of trade dis­putes be­tween the United States and China length­ened fur­ther, as Washington asked the WTO to ex­am­ine sub­si­dies to the Chi­nese wind power sec­tor.

Just weeks be­fore Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao's Jan­uary visit to the United States, the US govern­ment said it had asked the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion to deal with al­legedly il­le­gal sub­si­dies that fa­vor Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ing firms.

The United States al­leges China of­fers multi-mil­lion­dol­lar grants to only com­pa­nies mak­ing tur­bines and other equip­ment with Chi­nese parts, a vi­o­la­tion of trade rules.

"China ap­pears to pro­vide sub­si­dies that are pro­hib­ited un­der WTO rules," US trade of­fi­cials said in a state­ment an­nounc­ing their request for WTO ar­bi­tra­tion.

The request means that rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Bei­jing and Washington will have to dis­cuss a so­lu­tion within the WTO.

If no agreed so­lu­tion is found, the United States can ask the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion to move to­ward sanc­tions.

China's com­merce min­istry was not im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment.

The claim comes as the two eco­nomic su­per­pow­ers face-off over a range of ex­port is­sues from tires to beef to cur­rency lev­els, and amid anger in Washington that its ex­ports are be­ing stiffed.

Obama is ex­pected to press his Chi­nese coun­ter­part to open the door to more US im­ports when the two lead­ers meet in Jan­uary, a means of bol­ster­ing the US re­cov­ery and re­bal­anc­ing global trade flows, which are seen as un­fairly fa­vor­ing Bei­jing.

"These sub­si­dies ef­fec­tively op­er­ate as a bar­rier to US ex­ports to China," said US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ron Kirk, vow­ing Washington's was com­mit­ted to "en­sur­ing a level play­ing field." The grants, said to be worth as much as 22.5 mil­lion dol­lars, are part of a vast Chi­nese ef­fort to be­come a world-beater in green technology. -Afp

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