The World Trade Organization has ruled against the United States in a pre-trade war dispute with China, opening the door for more retaliatory tariffs. The ruling says some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods do not comply with WTO rules. The case opened in 2012 when the United States implemented tariffs aimed at products the U.S. claimed “were unfairly subsidized” by Chinese state-owned companies.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a news release rejected the ruling. Lighthizer says the report “undermines WTO rules.” The report says that the United States “must use distorted Chinese prices” to measure subsidies, according to Lighthizer, unless the U.S. provides more analysis than “the hundreds of pages” in provided investigations. China’s Ministry of Commerce in a statement welcomed the ruling, adding the U.S. “has seriously damaged the fairness and impartial nature of the international trade environment.”
Lighthizer said the U.S. is determined to take all necessary steps to ensure a level playing field. Trade talks between China and the U.S. continued this week.