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China's commerce ministry studying WTO panel report concerning US Section 232 measures

Xinhua | August 17, 2023


China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Wednesday said it has taken notice of the World Trade Organization (WTO) panel report regarding China's countermeasures against the United States' Section 232 tariff measures related to steel and aluminum.

An MOC official said the ministry is studying the report and will follow up on it in accordance with WTO rules.

The root cause of the problem in this case is the unilateral and protectionist moves of the United States, the official said, adding that China's countermeasures were taken in accordance with the law and are legitimate actions to safeguard the country's legitimate rights and interests.

Since March 2018, the United States has generalized the concept of "national security" and imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum products exported to the United States by many WTO members, including China, the official said.

The measures brought widespread dissatisfaction, and China and many other WTO members have resorted to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. In December 2022, the WTO ruled that the U.S. measures violated WTO rules, the official said.

"However, the United States insisted on going its own way, obstructed the entry into force of the expert panel's ruling, evaded its obligations, and refused to cancel the illegal tariff measures," the official said.

"China demands that the United States immediately cancel the steel and aluminum Section 232 measures that violate WTO rules and work with other WTO members in the same direction to maintain the rules-based multilateral trading system together," the official said.