US Wins WTO Dispute against China on Auto Duties

Stephanie Henry

The United States announced on Friday it had won a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute against China over its imposition of duties on US auto exports. In bringing the case, the United States charged that China relied on limited and poorly-examined evidence, and did not adequately show that Chinese industry was harmed by US imports.

The case centered on China’s application of duties on US autos with engine capacities at or over 2.5 liters. China alleged that manufacturers of those vehicles had been subsidized by the US government and were selling vehicles at less than fair value in China’s market. Duties ranged between 2 and 22 percent, and affected more than $3 billion in US auto exports.

President Obama announced the US would launch a case in July 2012, while campaigning for reelection in Ohio. China played a major role in the 2012 election, with Mitt Romney charging Obama had not been tough enough on China’s trade practices, and Obama scrutinizing Romney’s role in allegedly moving US jobs to China.

China will have 60 days to appeal the ruling, though it said in December 2013 that it had stopped imposing duties on US auto imports.