China To Request Permission To Impose Sanctions Against U.S.

The People’s Republic of China will ask the World Trade Organization (WTO) for permission to impose sanctions against the United States, Reuters news agency reports.

China will address the world’s largest intergovernmental trade organization next week and ask for permission to impose sanctions on the U.S. amid the rapidly-escalating trade war. China will cite U.S. failure to comply with a key WTO ruling.

In 2013, China initiated the dispute with the United States, arguing before the WTO about the illegality of the U.S. dumping duties on the Asian country’s metal industry, mineral industry, light industry, machinery, and electronics, amounting to an annual export value of $8.4 billion.

The case concerned the U.S. Commerce Department’s calculation method, “zeroing.” The U.S. uses this method to calculate the amount of “dumping” (Chinese exports priced to undercut U.S.-made goods on the American market), and then increase the level of U.S. anti-dumping duties on foreign producers like China.

“Zeroing” was deemed illegal by the WTO after a series of trade disputes.

China won the case it had brought up against the United States in 2016, and the ruling was confirmed in a 2017 appeal.

China’s request will come amid what appears to be a full-blown U.S-China trade war, largely escalated by President Donald Trump and his tariffs on Chinese imports.

If it is to judge by official data on the U.S. trade deficit with China, President Trump is losing the trade war. As the Business Insider reported, despite the imposition of tariffs, the U.S. trade deficit with China increased in July to its highest level since February.

Built largely on the premise of bringing U.S. companies back to America, Trump’s trade war appears to have driven them away. As the New York Times reported, American automaker Ford recently said that it would not be returning to the U.S. to produce its Focus Active model, citing an inability to reconcile costs of U.S-production with maintaining final product price.

The WTO has played an important role in regulating international trade, and therefore stopping Trump’s economic crusade against China. The POTUS recently threatened to withdraw from the international trade body unless it “shapes up.” But, as the Inquisitr reported, Roberto Azevedo, the WTO’s director general, warned that a U.S. exit would cause the global economy to descend into chaos.

“The scenarios are not going to be good for anyone. The U.S. is about 11 percent of global trade. So leaving the organization would be a blow to the organization. But it would be a blow to the U.S. as well.”

“That is the worst thing that could happen for an economy as globally connected as the American economy,” Azevedo added, implying that U.S. withdrawal from the WTO would do more harm than good for American businesses and consumers.