Obama Trade Law Survives Chinese WTO Appeal

Posted by Eric Haun
Monday, July 07, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama (White House photo)

China failed to overturn a U.S. law targeting unfair trade subsidies on Monday, when the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body said it did not have enough information to uphold China's appeal against an earlier WTO ruling.

China had claimed that the U.S. "Public Law 112-99", also known as the GTX legislation, which was signed by President Barack Obama in March 2012, broke world trade rules, but a WTO dispute panel ruled against it in March.

The Appellate Body disagreed with several of the panel's intepretations of the law but said it did not have enough information to rule one way or the other, effectively leaving the March ruling intact.

However, the Appellate Body also left intact another part of the panel's ruling, which said that the United States had wrongly "double counted" when punishing Chinese goods for being both subsidised and unfairly priced.

In a statement, China's Ministry of Commerce said the dispute was "another significant victory of China's challenge against the United States' abuse of trade remedy measures".

The U.S. tariffs affected photovoltaic cells and modules used in solar power, various steel products, off-road tyres, aluminium goods and towers for windfarms.

China said the annual value of trade affected was $7.2 billion.

It launched the complaint in September 2012, in an apparent tit-for-tat move that came hours after the United States lodged a complaint against China's support for car exports.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Trade Representative's office.

(Reporting by Tom Miles; editing by Robert Evans)

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