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WTO rules for US over China in steel dispute


The United States won a challenge before the World Trade Organization over Chinese tariffs on high-tech steel that cost American exporters more than $250 million in annual losses.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Friday that the WTO had determined that China violated global trading rules when it maintained the tariffs despite a decision against them three years ago.

“When China decided to maintain its WTO-illegal duties, we did not hesitate to challenge that action,” Froman said. “The WTO report confirms we were right.

"Following our challenge, China terminated those duties just a few months ago, reopening a more than $250 million market for American workers and steel companies,” he added.

Sens. Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) of Ohio — home to major steel producers — welcomed the announcement.

“Strong enforcement of our trade laws lifts up Ohio companies and levels the playing field,” said Brown. “This announcement will help America's steel industry — including AK Steel and its dedicated workforce — compete in our global economy.”

“Manufacturing exports are vital to Ohio workers, and this win will provide a boost to Ohio steel producers like AK Steel,” Portman said.

“I will continue to support efforts to ensure that our workers are able to operate on a level playing field around the world.”

In 2012, the United States won a WTO dispute finding that China broke trade rules by imposing antidumping and countervailing duties on U.S. exports of grain oriented electrical steel.

Despite these findings, China continued to impose duties on steel from the United States and claimed a new rationale for the duties that it said complied with WTO rules.





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