The trade tensions between the United States and China spilled on to a meeting at the World Trade Organization where the US accused China of utilizing the global trade body to continue with its “non-market” policies while China alleged that is was in fact the US that had flouted the rule book.
The trading partners of the US have been antagonised by the tariff regimen put in by the US President Donald Trump and justified them with concerns for US national security. China has been the hardest hit of the lot as the US has imposed import tariffs on Chinese goods worth $250 billion dollars alleging that China had been taking advantage of the US for years, stealing American intellectual property.
The “non-market” policies that are being implemented by China taking advantage of the WTO was had resulted in the distortion of the global markets and cause over and excessive capacity – particularly in steel and aluminium, said US ambassador Dennis Shea at the WTO meeting on Wednesday which was called to discuss a number of legal disputes over Trump’s trade policies and those legal issues now have entered a formal adjudication phase.
According to media reports quoting an Chinese source at the meeting, no blame game is desired by China and the US could not produce any supporting evidence to justify the allegations it had made against the Chinese economy and the US was using those allegations as a camouflage to hide it own violation of WTO rules.
Both sides accused each other of hypocrisy.
Since the rules of the WTO allowed member countries to initiate actions over national security concerns, therefore the lawsuits that have been filed against the US by China as well as the other trading partners of the US including the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Norway, Russia and Turkey should be thrown out by the global trade organization, Shea said.
“Some (WTO) members have expressed concerns that invoking the national security exception in these circumstances would undermine the international trading system. This is erroneous, and completely backwards,” Shea said, according to a copy of his remarks available with the media.
“Rather, what threatens the international trading system is that China is attempting to use the WTO dispute settlement system to prevent any action by any Member to address its unfair, trade-distorting policies,” he added.
“The United States cannot abide this level of hypocrisy,” a second US official told the meeting.
While accusing China of stealing its intellectual property, the US said at the same time that the country was suggesting that its intellectual property protection was supreme.
“That claim itself lacks the credibility given the simple fact that the US has deliberately delayed the implementation in this case for more than 14 years,” a Chinese official said.
“China has fully complied with the TRIPS agreement while the US has not. And we believe that until the US faithfully and entirely honours its TRIPS obligations, the comparison suggested by the US is clearly without the legal benchmark.”
(Adapted from SCMP.com)