Impact: U.S. to file unfair trade complaint against China at WTO for illegal duties on U.S.-made auto imports image

United States will file an unfair trade complaint today against China’s new duties on some American-made cars and SUVs, including the Toledo, Ohio-made Jeep Wrangler.

According to a senior official, the United States will accuse China of putting illegal duties on $3.3 billion worth of U.S.-made auto imports.

The enforcement action aims to force China to rescind the duties it placed disproportionately on General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC imports because of the 2009 taxpayer rescue of the auto industry.

“The key principle at stake is that China must play by the rules of the global trading system. When it does not, the Obama Administration will take action to ensure that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field,” a senior administration official said in an e-mail to Reuters.

“China’s actions are unjustifiable, and unfortunately, this appears to be just one more instance of impermissible Chinese retaliation against the United States and other trading partners,” four top House Republicans and Democrats who oversee trade issues said in a joint statement.

The Obama Administration has previously brought allegations of illegal duties against China on behalf of U.S. steel and chicken products.
Last week a World Trade Organization panel has ruled that China violated some global trade rules by imposing duties on U.S. electrical steel.

The panel decision, which can be appealed by either side, found that China initiated an investigation into unfair U.S. subsidies on electrical steel used in the power sector without sufficient evidence, and failed to disclose certain facts in determining whether the steel was being dumped in China.