China lodges WTO complaint over renewable energy tariffs

Sean Reid
August 17, 2018

The Trump administration has defended the solar tariffs as necessary to protect American producers.

China officially filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Tuesday, claiming that the solar import tariffs imposed by the United States and its subsidies for local products harm China's legitimate rights and interests and clash with WTO rules.

In response, South Korea, one of USA major sources of washing machine imports, said it will "actively respond to US trade protectionism".

On this legislation, US President Donald Trump has commented that it will provide additional tools to combat predatory investment practices that threaten the US fundamental technological leadership, national security, and future economic prosperity.

On April 2, China hit back by adopting tariff hikes on 128 US items, including pork, sparkling wine, nuts, and fresh and dried fruit products. Only a fraction went to the United States, with India the biggest market.

WTO complaints begin with negotiations between parties to the dispute.

In their technology dispute, Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion (3.8 trillion yen) of Chinese goods it said benefit from improper industrial policies. On the same day, Turkey's imposition of tariffs on 266.5 million dollars of US goods took effect.

As of August 23, both countries will apply a new tariff package of 25 percent with a value of 16 billion dollars. The president has also said the tariffs have been created to promote better trade deals.

On Aug. 1, Trump called for raising the proposed tariff on 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, adding the implementation is pending a public comment process ending on September 5.

Washington announced in January that it was imposing what it called safeguard tariffs over four years - with a 30 percent tariff in the first year reduced gradually to 15 percent in year four. Beijing responded with similar penalties.

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