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WTO convenes panel to study US-China trade

Keywords: Tags  China complaint, countervailing duties, President Obama, Insteel, Sumiden, American Spring Wire, Nashville Wire, SSW Holding U.S. Trade Representative

NEW YORK — The World Trade Organization (WTO) set up a panel Monday to study a Chinese complaint about American dumping and subsidy duties on Chinese products.

The committee agreed to establish a panel during a meeting of a dispute settlement body Monday after the United States rejected the first request last month (, Nov. 30). The second request for a panel is automatic, according to WTO rules.

China claims that the United States has launched more than 30 countervailing duty investigations against Chinese products since 2006, affecting more than $7.3 billion in trade. It argues that the duties aren’t consistent with obligations at the WTO because U.S. countervailing duty laws shouldn’t be applied to countries deemed as nonmarket economies.

In letters submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in October, various wire producers—American Spring Wire Corp., Bedford Heights, Ohio; Insteel Wire Products Co., Mount Airy, N.C.; Sumiden Wire Products Corp., Stockton, Calif.; Nashville Wire Products Inc., Nashville, Tenn.; and SSW Holding Co. Inc., Elizabethtown, Ky.—argued that the USTR should "vigorously defend against China’s meritless claims," adding that China’s claims of double remedies are inconsistent with WTO measures.

The issue dates back to March when President Barack Obama signed a bill giving authority to the U.S. Commerce Department to apply subsidy duties to nonmarket economies, a move lauded by steel interests (, March 13).

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