US takes China to WTO over alleged violation of trade rules

The Office of US Trade Representatives (USTR) said it had filed two cases against China at the WTO.

"We are concerned that China is breaking its trade commitments to the US and other WTO partners, both by favouring its one state-owned financial services firm to the exclusion of American credit and debit card companies and by manipulating trade remedy investigations to unfairly restrict exports of American steel," USTR Ambassador Ron Kirk said.

One of the case requests dispute settlement consultations – the first step in litigation – regarding China's imposition of antidumping (AD) duties and countervailing duties (CVD) on imports of grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES) from the United States.
The other case requests consultations regarding China's discrimination against US suppliers of electronic payment services.

Consultations are the first step in a WTO dispute.
Under WTO rules, parties that do not resolve a matter through consultations within 60 days may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel.

"In both cases, USTR is fighting for the American jobs threatened by China's actions, and insisting on the level playing field promised in our WTO agreements,"  Kirk said.
A spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in Washington said his country's decision to impose anti-dumping duties on the US electrical steel in question was based on solid investigation.

"As I know, China has fully implemented its commitments on joining WTO by 2010, including those in the banking sector," said Wang Baodong, spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

"China will continue to faithfully implement its WTO obligations and at the same time firmly defend its legitimate rights through the multilateral trade mechanism," he said.
Senator Chuck Grassley, a Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, said China needs to stop treating US electronic payment services companies unfairly.

"It's against the rules, and I've called on the (Obama) Administration to take China to the WTO over this issue. It's about time the Administration decided to act," he said, adding he was glad on Administration challenging the unfair anti-dumping and countervailing duties by China slapped on US steel exports.

Grassley said the Administration should go one step further and bring a case against China's unfair currency manipulation at the WTO.

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