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China Not Correcting Actions That Led to Tariffs

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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says China hasn’t taken action to correct the practices that led to American tariffs on Chinese imports. The tariffs are currently in place on $250 billion in goods. The trade chief made the announcement at the same time his agency released a 53-page update to its report on its own investigation into China’s intellectual trade practices. “We completed this update as part of the administration’s stronger monitoring and enforcement effort,” Lighthizer says. “The update shows that China hasn’t altered its unfair, market-distorting practices that were the focus of the report in March of this year on our Section 301 investigation.”

The announcement from Lighthizer comes just ten days before a face-to-face meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires during the G20 summit. The South China Morning Post website says the discussions could either pause the trade dispute between the two largest economies in the world or it could potentially lead to further escalation.

As it relates to steel and aluminum tariffs, both the United States and opponents of tariffs put in place by President Donald Trump confirmed they want to take their disputes to the World Trade Organization. Those confirmations kickstarted the procedure for the WTO to set up dispute hearings. China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Russia, and Norway all confirmed that they will take their disputes to adjudication proceedings. The Unites States also confirmed it wants dispute panels set up for trade disagreements with Canada, China, and the EU.

Reuters quotes a U.S. trade official as saying, “The United States cannot abide this level of hypocrisy.” That was in response to each challenge to the steel and aluminum tariffs at the center of the trade disputes. Trump first put the tariffs in place by saying they were a national security issue, and as such are exempt from WTO rules. The other countries don’t agree, calling the tariffs thinly-veiled protectionism that has damaged U.S. rivals globally. They want the U.S. to compensate them for damages and imposed their own tariffs in response. WTO dispute panels are set up to settle disputes as peacefully as possible by encouraging each country to bring their policies in line with WTO rules, rather than litigating.

Source: NAFB News Service