The World Trade Organization (WTO) condemned this Tuesday (09/15/2020) the tariffs imposed by the United States on China in 2018 and 2019, one of the main fronts in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The tariffs imposed by Washington “are not consistent with the WTO’s Most Favored Nation principles, and exceed the maximum tariffs agreed by the United States.” before the body, underlines the decision taken by a panel of experts at the request of China, which took the case to Geneva as early as April 2018.
In June of that year, the US Government imposed tariffs of 25% on Chinese exports worth 50,000 million dollars, and in September it imposed another 10% (increased to 25% in May 2019) to more exports from from China, worth $ 200 billion.
The government of Donald Trump responded harshly by charging at the WTO. The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), Robert Lighthizer, said the body’s condemnation “confirms what the Trump administration has been saying for four years: the WTO is totally inadequate to stop China’s nefarious technological practices.”
The trade representative is also the architect of a bilateral agreement reached in January with Beijing, which allowed a truce in this conflict between the two largest economies in the world that filled the world with uncertainty. “Importantly, the report has no effect on the historic Phase One agreement between the United States and China, which includes new commitments from China to prevent the theft of American technology,” the official added.
Despite that agreement, the trade dispute is far from over. Just yesterday, the US authorities announced that they would block imports of Chinese products from the “forced labor” of the Uighur minority. Products affected include cotton, clothing, hair and electronics products from five specific manufacturers in Xinjiang and neighboring Anhui.
lgc (efe / afp)