US-China Trade War: Latest Developments
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
After the US implemented its latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports starting September 1, China has lodged a complaint with the WTO against the US import duties. The Chinese Commerce Ministry made an announcement about its decision to escalate the issue to the WTO on Monday.
China has stated that US’s tariffs impact Chinese exports worth $300 billion and that the latest round of tariff hikes violate the truce agreed upon by US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G7 summit in June 2019. This is the third suit filed by China against the US and its tariffs on Chinese goods at the WTO.
However, the US continues to maintain that its decision to impose tariffs on Chinese imports is a way to counter China’s IP theft practices, an issue that lies outside the purview of the WTO. Supporters of the US also allege that China’s retaliatory tariffs imposed on US goods has also been undertaken without approval from the WTO.
The US has submitted a written defence in reaction to China’s latest complaints, stating, “China has taken the unilateral decision to adopt aggressive industrial policy measures to steal or otherwise unfairly acquire the technology of its trading partners; the United States has adopted tariff measures to try to obtain the elimination of China’s unfair and distortive technology-transfer policies”.
The US government has 60 days to resolve the latest complaint at the WTO via settlement. However, if China asks the WTO to step in adjudicate, it could take many years for any resolution of the ongoing trade conflict between the two world leaders.