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WTO rules against China in imported car parts tariff case

[JURIST] World Trade Organization (WTO) [official website] judges ruled against China Wednesday in a case brought by the US, EU, and Canada [WTO dispute summaries] over China's taxation scheme for imported car parts. The complaint alleged that China was taxing auto parts imported from those countries at the same rate that it taxed foreign-made finished cars in violation of promises made upon accession to the WTO. The three countries argued that China's taxation scheme forced auto part manufacturers to move operations to China at the expense of workers in the US, EU and Canada. The official ruling will not be released until March.

Since its accession to the WTO in December 2001, China has been the subject of a number of complaints, most prominently disputes with the US regarding the protection of US intellectual property from piracy in China. China has also initiated two disputes with the US in the WTO, over anti-dumping laws and steel tariffs in the US. In April 2007, China denounced a US decision to file a copyright enforcement case against China in the WTO. [JURIST report]. In August 2007, the US requested WTO mediation [JURIST report] in the same copyright dispute. Wednesday's decision marks the first WTO ruling against China since it joined the organization. Bloomberg has more.

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