Earlier this week, China requested a World Trade Organization (WTO) probe into the legitimacy of U.S. tariffs imposed on Chinese-made tires, but was denied after the United States objected.
The request was made at a meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body, which is open to the organization’s 153 members, in Geneva on Monday. It followed failed consultations between the two countries to find a mutually satisfactory resolution to the dispute, according to a report from the Xinhua news agency.
In a so-called attempt to "remedy the clear disruption to the U.S. tire industry," U.S. President Barack Obama in September approved punitive tariffs of up to 35 percent on all car and light truck tires from China.
China quickly denounced the so-called U.S. special safeguard measure as "a wrong practice abusing trade remedies, which runs counter to relevant WTO rules." It filed a complaint with the WTO on Sept. 14.
At Monday’s meeting, the Chinese delegation reiterated that the U.S. restriction on tires from China "is a compromise to the pressure of domestic protectionism interests,” Xinhua reported.
The restriction was a departure from the international consensus on opposing trade protectionism, and it impaired both countries’ interests, the Chinese delegation said in a statement.
It added that the U.S. decision to impose the tariffs "runs short of factual bases and breaches the country’s obligations under the WTO."
Despite the Chinese delegation’s efforts, the WTO was not able to establish a panel on the dispute on Monday because of an objection from the United States. According to related procedures, China has to make a second request at the next DSB meeting, which is scheduled for January.
Once established, the panel will need at least six months to issue its final ruling. Either side then can take issue with the panel finding, eventually pushing the case to a final decision by WTO judges. (Tire Review)