China files appeal against WTO panel report on US steel, aluminium tariffs

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BEIJING: China has filed an appeal against a World Trade Organization panel report that recognised the US' actions on steel and aluminium as security measures, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Tuesday (Sep 19).

A WTO dispute settlement panel last month ruled in favour of Washington over a tariff dispute with Beijing, stating that it found China had acted inconsistently with its WTO obligations by imposing additional duties on US goods in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminium.

The US imposed a 25 per cent duty on steel imports and a 10 per cent duty on aluminium imports from countries including China in 2018 under the Donald Trump administration. In response, Beijing announced additional duties to be applied to certain imports originating in the US.

The Chinese commerce ministry said in a statement that the WTO panel's ruling contains "legal errors".

The imposition of US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports was "a unilateral and protectionist measure that had been found to violate WTO rules", the ministry said.

China urges the US to take "practical actions", respect WTO rules and rectify its "illegal measures" as soon as possible, it said.

Beijing's appeal comes at time when tensions between China and the US remain high despite recent efforts to mend their ties.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was in Beijing last month, the latest Biden administration official to visit China this year in a bid to strengthen communications amid worries that frictions between the two could spiral out of control. 

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