China loses WTO bid to overturn U.S. law against unfair subsidies

Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:28am EDT
 
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By Tom Miles

GENEVA (Reuters) - China lost its bid to overturn U.S. legislation targeting unfair trade subsidies on Thursday, its second defeat in a World Trade Organization dispute within 24 hours.

A WTO dispute panel threw out China's claim that the U.S. "Public Law 112-99", signed by President Barack Obama in March 2012, broke world trade rules.

"The WTO panel's decision to reject China's challenge to our law is a significant victory for the United States," U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement.

"The WTO report preserves the ability of the United States to remedy unfair subsidies and dumping by China, for the benefit of American businesses and workers."

However, Froman said he was disappointed that China won another part of the case, in which the WTO ruled the United States had been wrong to punish some Chinese exports twice over - once for being subsidized and once for being "dumped", or sold at unfairly cheap prices.

"However, the panel's concerns relate to certain past determinations, and U.S. law now directs the Department of Commerce to investigate any possible overlap," Froman said.

China welcomed the panel's stance on the double counting in 25 U.S. trade investigations against Chinese exports between 2006 and 2012.

"The case has involved an annual export value of over $7.2 billion which implicates significant trade interests of China," China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.   Continued...