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China plans to challenge World Trade Organization findings on tariff violations

[JURIST] The China Ministry of Commerce [official website, English version] said Tuesday that Chinese officials disagreed with and could challenge a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel report [materials; conclusions and recommendations, PDF] which states that the country illegally taxes and disfavors imported auto parts. The US, EU, and Canada [WTO dispute summaries] submitted complaints in March, alleging 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 and in violation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994) [text]. The panel recommended Friday in its report that the WTO Dispute Settlement Body [official website] "request China to bring these inconsistent measures as listed above into conformity with its obligations under the GATT 1994 and the WTO Agreement," but Chinese officials maintain that the country's policies are in line with its obligations. AP has more.

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 US steel tariffs. In April 2007, China denounced a US decision to file a copyright enforcement case against China in the WTO [JURIST reports]. In August 2007, the US requested WTO mediation [JURIST report] in the same copyright dispute.

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