The penalties imposed by the Trump administration on China violate international trade rules, the World Trade Organization stated on Tuesday. Washington responded immediately by considering the WTO “insufficient” to resolve this issue.
It is a step that should not improve the already extremely tense relations between the President of the United States, Donald Trump and the World Trade Organization. According to the WTO, the tariffs imposed by Washington on China are contrary to international trade rules.
In a report published on Tuesday, September 16, the WTO expert group instructed to resolve this case at Beijing’s request that “the measures in question are inconsistent” with various articles by Gatt (ancestors of the WTO)) and “recommends that the United States comply with its obligations” “.
The Trump administration was quick to respond by assuring that the WTO was “completely inadequate” to put an end to practices that China considered “harmful.”
“Although the panel (of WTO experts) did not question the extensive evidence presented by the United States regarding the theft of intangible property from China, its decision shows that the WTO does not offer a cure for such an error,” said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement.
This case, brought by Beijing to the WTO 2018, concerns a first tranche of US $ 250 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.
These punitive tariffs marked the beginning of a trade war between the two economic giants and were one of the hallmarks of the Trump presidency. Washington and Beijing then struck a largely firm trade agreement.
The two parties can now appeal to the WTO, but the appeals body of the Geneva – based institution, whose appointment of judges is blocked by Washington, has not been active since December 11 due to a lack of judges.
In fact, Washington, which considers itself “unfairly” treated by the world trade gendarme and threatened to leave the organization it claims would be revised, has been paralyzing the Board of Appeal since December by blocking the appointment of judges.