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China: U.S. tire duties probe 'breaches' trade rules

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Ministry of Commerce photo Gao Hucheng, China’s Minister of Commerce

BEIJING (July 21, 2014) — China’s Ministry of Commerce opposes the U.S. government’s recent decision to investigate possible anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese passenger and light truck tires, saying the move “breaches the rules” of the World Trade Organization and U.S. laws.

The ministry issued its position statement July 18    but did not attribute it to any one individual.

The U.S. investigation was initiated “despite serious flaws in the application for the investigation and opposition from the U.S. tire industry and related sectors,” according to the statement.

The ministry said it believes the 2009-12 tariffs case resulted in serious harm to China-U.S. trade ties, the official said.

“The facts show that the special safeguard measures taken by the United States have brought about substantial damage to its tire industry,” the statement said, “and it has harmed others without benefiting itself to take protectionist measures to restrict free trade and market competition.

“China is against the abuse of trade remedy measures and hopes the United States can learn lessons and prudently handle the case so as to not harm trade and cooperation between the two countries.”

China’s Ministry of Commerce Gao Hucheng, in a speech delivered July 17, accused the U.S. of being a serial abuser of international trade rules when it comes to applying anti-dumping and countervailing trade measures against Chinese products.

As a result, Mr. Hucheng is urging the U.S to “inject more positive vigor into the development of China-U.S. trade and economic relations.”

Mr. Hucheng did not refer specifically to the current U.S. investigation into possible anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese-sourced passenger and light truck tires.

Instead he referred to two recent World Trade Organization (WTO) rulings that he said support most of China’s appeals, while also ruling that none of 26 anti-dumping and countervailing measures the U.S. carried out against Chinese products before March 2012 obeyed the WTO rules.

“The abuse of trade remedy measures by the U.S. has seriously impaired the legitimate rights of Chinese enterprises,” he said. “The Chinese government has paid serious attention and will not sit by and do nothing.”

Mr. Hucheng said China intends to make full use of its rights as a WTO member and safeguard its own legitimate rights. In doing this, China is also “firmly maintaining the stability of the multilateral trade system and solemnity of WTO rules,” he said.

“I strongly urge the U.S. to face their legislation and practices in trade remedy fields that violate WTO rules constantly and systematically, carry out the rulings made by the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO honestly,” he said, “correct the wrongdoings of abusing trade remedy rules timely and comprehensively, and set a good example of seriously adhering to the rules rather than an example of a rules-breaker.”

Against the background of the slow recovery of world economy, the U.S. is more obliged to safeguard the multilateral trade system and WTO rules, and fight against trade protectionism, he said.

China-U.S. trade and economic relations are the ballast and propeller of China-U.S. ties, Mr. Hucheng said. “Sound and sustainable China-U.S. trade and economic relations require efforts from both sides. I sincerely hope that the U.S. side could inject more positive vigor into the development of China-US trade and economic relations.”



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