China accuses US of a ‘blatant breach’ of trade policy in WTO meeting

Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping and members of Chinese delegation attend a working dinner with U.S. President Donald Trump after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. 

Chinese representatives met with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday to begin the process of legally challenging United States tariffs on China’s exports, Reuters reported, citing a transcript of the meeting’s discussion.

“This is a blatant breach of the United States’ obligations under the WTO agreements and is posing a systemic challenge to the multilateral trading system,” a Chinese representative said in the meeting. “If the United States were free to continue infringing these principles without consequences, the future viability of this organization is in dire peril.”

China is seeking to have the WTO block U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. President Donald Trump’s administration last year led the U.S. in putting tariffs on a quarter trillion worth of Chinese imports, at duties between 10 percent and 25 percent. China responded in kind, placing tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. goods.

A U.S. representative at the meeting said China was the one “threatening the overall viability of the WTO system,” not the U.S. The official said China is using “grossly unfair and trade-distorting forced technology transfer policies and practices.” They added the claim that “this unfounded dispute” only added to the damage China has caused.

Read the full Reuters story here.

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