BEIJING–China urged the United States on Monday to quickly comply with a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that found that slapping extra duties on some Chinese goods broke WTO trade rules. Earlier this month, the WTO’s top court upheld some Chinese objections to a previous ruling that had backed the right of the United States to impose extra duties on Chinese goods — steel pipes, off-road tires and woven sacks — that Washington had said were unfairly priced and subsidized.
China’s appeal — in a case it launched in September 2008 — highlights the growing assertiveness of the world’s biggest exporter within the global trading system. China and the United States have been wrangling in a series of WTO trade disputes. “The case is a major victory in how China uses the WTO rules to protect its legal interests, and will greatly increase the confidence that WTO members have in multilateral rules,” the treaty and law representative of China’s commerce ministry said in a statement. “We hope the United States will … change its mindset that China’s approach on exports is wrong, maintain a fair trading environment and the healthy development of Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations.” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he was disappointed with the court’s verdict, and U.S. lawmakers also criticized the ruling, which they said would make it more difficult for the United States to fight the trade-distorting effects of China’s “state capitalism.” The appeals court did not back all the points in China’s appeal, but its 241-page ruling found the United States had acted unlawfully in some instances. It called on Washington to bring its practices into line with international trade rules.