China challenges US trade penalties at WTO

May 25, 2012, Friday/ 16:08:00/ AP

China filed World Trade Organization cases Friday challenging US anti-subsidy tariffs on 22 Chinese goods including steel, widening a conflict between the two giant trading partners.

The cases come as a weakening global economy fuels trade frictions as governments try to boost exports and create jobs.

China began its challenge by requesting consultations with the United States through the WTO to resolve the dispute. If that fails, China can request a ruling by a WTO panel, which can order the United States to scrap measures found to violate free-trade commitments or to pay compensation.

Beijing appeared to be challenging Washington's overall approach to subsidies and dumping as well as its handling of individual cases. China's mission to the WTO accused Washington of improperly using antidumping measures to shield American companies from competition. It complained Washington repeated its "wrongful practice" in the latest dispute over Chinese-made solar power equipment. The Chinese statement said the disputed US measures affect Chinese exports to the United States worth a total of $7.3 billion. It gave no details but the Chinese government's Xinhua News Agency said products included steel, paper and solar cells. The two governments also have argued over access to each others' markets for poultry, tires and other goods.

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