Many U.S. Tariffs Violate WTO ‘Laws’
Econintersect: Many of the tariffs imposed by the U.S. between 2007-2012 are not valid according to a ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO). This ruling could restrict Washington’s efforts to use tariffs as a punitive tool against state subsidized industries. The ruling comes at a particularly critical time as trade negotiations are starting this week to remove protective barriers that have been set up in the global trade of ‘green goods’. Solar panels and wind turbines were two of the products involved in the ruling. The U.S., EU, China and eleven other countries are involved in the latest efforts in the ‘green energy’ area that has in the past repeatedly failed to make progress toward agreements.
The WTO rejected the contention by the U.S. that excessive government subsidies (even ownership) were involved in pricing of exports in many of the industries addressed in two complaints against the U.S. by China and India. The ruling rejected the U.S. claim that China and India were guilty of “dumping”. Instead of supporting the U.S. claims, the WTO said in the China case that “overcapacity and cut-throat competition had pushed the cost of Chinese products to the minimum in China as well as overseas“.
In addition to ‘green energy’ related items the ruling included paper, steel, tires, magnets, chemicals, kitchen fittings and flooring among a long list of products.
- US loses WTO case brought by China, India (Lucy Hornby, Financial Times, 15 July 2014)
- WTO says US anti-dumping duties on Chinese products wrong (AFP, Channel NewsAsia, 15 July 2014)
- Green goods trade talks set to start (Shawn Donnan, Financial Times, 07 July 2014)