China says USA solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint

Alicia Cross
August 18, 2018

Trump announced earlier this year that he would impose global tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum, citing national security concerns.

On Jan. 22, Trump approved tariffs up to 50 percent on imported washing machines for the next three years, and duties as much as 30 percent on imported solar panels for the next four years.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning took to Twitter, as he often does, to lambaste some of his favourite targets: the U.S. Justice Department, the "rigged Russian witch hunt" (a.k.a. the Robert Mueller investigation), and of course, undocumented immigrants.

China's Ministry of Commerce said the 30 percent tariffs announced in January violates WTO rules.The fees also apply to imports of solar cells and units from Europe, Canada, Mexico and South Korea, Increasing strained relations with United States allies.

On July 6, US tariffs on 34 billion dollars of Chinese goods came into force, and China responded by enacting tariffs on 34 billion dollars of goods it buys from the United States.

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Trump, in recent months, has frequently complained that other countries are treating the a "piggy bank" and that the being "robbed" by their trade policies.

Despite Trump's praise, The Journal notes that, though some some steelmakers are expanding production in the US, other USA manufacturers are still dependent on imported metals. China responded with similar penalties on American imports.

But so far, he has yet to finalize any trade deals. China filed a complaint with the WTO to help determine the legality of the US policies, saying they not only harm China's rights but also undermine the WTO's authority, according to Reuters. "He has yet to get any other countries to remove their tariffs or to remove his own tariffs", Chad Bown, a trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, wrote on Twitter.

The closest Trump has come to a genuine deal is with South Korea and the European Union, longtime political, military and economic allies of the United States.

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