China says U.S. solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint

  • China says U.S. solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint

China says U.S. solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint

Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced it would impose 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports beginning August 23.

BEIJING-China says it is challenging a U.S. tariff hike on solar panels before the World Trade Organization, adding to its sprawling conflicts with U.S. President Donald Trump over trade and technology. It said a formal complaint was filed Tuesday with the WTO in Geneva.

The Commerce Ministry said Wednesday the 30 percent tariffs announced in January violate WTO rules and improperly help US producers.

"While taking protectionist measures against imported photovoltaic products, the USA provided subsidies to domestically produced photovoltaics and other renewable energy products", the ministry said in a statement.

Trump defended solar tariffs as necessary to protect United States producers, saying import prices were unfairly low due to subsidies and other inappropriate subsidies.

Washington took action under a 1974 US law instead of through the WTO. "I think China chose to bring it up in order to keep up the rhythm of the trade dispute", she said.

China has tried to portray itself as a defender of the WTO-based trading system.

They include Wang Huning, the party's chief ideologue, who helped craft the propaganda message trumpeting China's rise that is now being criticized in China for alarming the West; Vice President Wang Qishan, Mr. Xi's most powerful lieutenant, who appears to have distanced himself from trade policy in recent months; and Liu He, the Harvard-trained vice premier handling the stalled negotiations with the United States. It has tried to recruit European governments and other governments as allies against Washington. The new round of tariffs marked the completion of Trump's threat to impose $50 billion of import taxes on Chinese goods, the first $34 billion of which went into effect on July 6.