China last week filed two separate requests for consultations with the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO), questioning the legality of US tariffs on Chinese solar panels and challenging US measures at the state and local levels that provide incentives for the use of domestically sourced renewable energy products.
The United States and China have both fired warning shots on the growing field of bilateral trade disputes, though the most significant battle is likely still weeks away. While both sides have announced proposed tariffs on $50 billion in imports in relation to the USTR’s investigation into China’s intellectual property and technology transfer policies, neither will be implemented immediately.
Recent statements by China and the United States suggest the two countries may be viewed as swapping places as the global leader on free trade policies, but the actions that both sides take in the coming months will provide the best assessment about the roles each government intends to play.
The 15th anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was marked with a fresh trade dispute Monday after the United States ignored the December 11 deadline to end its use of non-market economy (NME) calculations for antidumping cases.
Over the past month, leaders from across the globe have met in a series of forums to discuss global trade, investment, and security across the Asia-Pacific. From the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) to the East Asia Summit, leaders are advancing key economic and security priorities for the coming year, ranging from strengthening regional connectivity to promoting environmental goods trade.
In November, Chinese and US negotiators surprised the global business community by announcing an end to a standoff over high-technology tariffs. In agreeing to move forward with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA), China paved the way for the slashing of tariffs on items from semiconductors to video game consoles. The breakthrough on ITA was a welcome development, but there are a number of other WTO initiatives that both the United States and China are actively negotiating that could significantly impact American companies across sectors.