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TRADE WARS
WTO appoints expert panel in long-running China-US dispute
by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Sept 28, 2012


International trade arbiter the World Trade Organization on Friday appointed a panel of experts to investigate the latest in a series of disputes involving China and the United States.

The procedural measure, taken by the organisation's Dispute Settlement Body, comes after Beijing complained that Washington had imposed so-called "countervailing duty measures" on many Chinese products which the US deemed to be government-subsidised.

The long list of Chinese products includes steel, paper, tyres, magnets, chemical products, kitchen fittings, flooring and wind towers, the WTO said.

Each WTO member was within their rights to apply compensatory measures, but within certain limits, China said at the DSB meeting in Geneva.

The United States insisted its measures were necessary to offset subsidies by China, which also rejected a US call to establish a different panel to investigate Beijing's restrictive duties applied to US auto exports.

According to WTO rules, member nations can veto a first request for the establishment of an expert panel by another country.

The next DSB meeting is to take place on October 23.

Washington has now filed 10 cases against China with the WTO, most of them lodged in the past two years, part of an effort by President Barack Obama's administration to use trade rules to beat down Beijing's huge bilateral trade surplus with the United States.

China's complaint about US duties follows US legislation in March addressing WTO objections to the way the US made calculations to apply anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports.

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