China fires back at U.S. tariffs with WTO complaint

File Photo by Xie Huanchi/Xinhua/EPA-EFE

July 16 (UPI) — China filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization on Monday over the United States’ plan to put tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

The announcement by China’s Ministry of Commerce, seeking a legal remedy, comes a week after the administration of President Donald Trumppublished a preliminary list of over 6,000 Chinese products to which it seeks to assign an additional 10 percent tariff.

Those tariffs were announced after Beijing retaliated for a prior U.S. tariff of up to 25 percent on Chinese goods valued at about $34 billion.

The trade status between the two countries has so far affected prices of raw materials, including paper, steel and aluminum. The list released last week by the White House includes raw materials and finished goods including tobacco, pet food, seafood and plywood.

Trade between the United States and China totaled more than $635 billion in 2017, with a goods trade deficit favoring China of $375.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

Representatives of China and the European Union met in Beijing over the weekend, promising to work more closely to defend the global trading system. They emphatically contended, though, that a coalition to counter the United States is not under consideration.

The meeting came as Trump said he regarded the EU and China as “foes” of the United States’ economy.

A joint statement after the Beijing meeting said China and the EU remained opposed to protectionism and supportive of the WTO and its rules-based trading system. They also agreed to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive, although the United States has withdrawn from the agreement.

“It is a common duty of Europe and China, America and Russia, not to destroy this [global] order, but to improve it,” said European Council President Donald Tusk in Beijing.


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