GENEVA (Reuters) – China launched the legal process for the World Trade Organization on Monday to hear Beijing's claim against US tariffs imposed on goods worth $ 234 billion.
FILE PHOTO: A logo is displayed in front of the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters next to a red traffic light in Geneva (Switzerland, 2 October 2018). REUTERS / Denis Balibouse / File Photo
Chinese trade diplomat was told At a WTO meeting, China wanted a panel of experts to decide on its appeal launched in April last year. The motion seeks to block US tariffs imposed on Chinese imports in a trade war between the world's two largest economies under President Donald Trump.
"This is a blatant violation of the United States' obligations under the WTO Agreements and represents a systematic challenge to the multilateral trading system," said one representative from China.
"If the United States continues to violate these principles without consequences, the sustainability of this organization is in jeopardy."
The United States began imposing a 25 percent ban on Chinese imports of approximately $ 34 billion from July 6, 2018, and slashed Chinese imports by 10 percent from September 24 for some $ 200 billion on.
China has responded with tariffs on US goods.
The US official said at the meeting that China is using the WTO system as a shield for trade-distorting policies, and that China has "damaged the world trade system by grossly unfair and trade-distorting technology transfer strategies and practices that have caused unfounded conflict."
"It is China and certainly not the United States that jeopardize the viability of the WTO system as a whole," the US official said.
The case of China, as well as others recently launched, can not be resolved any further, as the appointment of judges for appeal proceedings in commercial disputes has ceased in the US.
Washington says judges have routinely violated the WTO procedure and have exceeded their mandate. At the meeting on Monday, he reaffirmed his position, while China and 70 other WTO members reiterated their call for the United States not to block the appointment of judges.
The Appeals Body of the WTO, the supreme court of world trade, has only three judges and two will resign in December. For WTO rules, three judges must appeal.
China said the US lawsuit against the appointment of judges is unlawful. It cited WTO rules stating that "vacancies are being filled immediately".
The Brazilian representative said to the meeting: "If nothing is done, we will witness the closure of an institution at the center of the WTO dispute settlement system. Time is crucial.
Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Peter Graff