Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck
GENEVA (Reuters) - China appealed a ruling by the World Trade Organization on Tuesday, insisting the United States flouted international trade rules when it imposed trade barriers on car tires imported from China, a WTO spokesman said.
A legal panel at the WTO last year ruled that U.S. tariffs of up to 35 percent on Chinese car tires were legal under world trade rules.
Widely expected, Beijing’s appeal underlines tensions between rich and emerging economies over trade in industrial goods, which are threatening a global trade pact among the WTO’s 153 members known as the Doha round.
Leading trading nations gathering in France this week will attempt to salvage 10-year negotiations for an accord designed to help poor nations prosper through trade.
The United States has until May 30 to lodge a counter appeal over its rights to tax Chinese tires, though U.S. trade officials in Geneva could not be reached for comment on plans for such an appeal.
A Chinese trade official in Geneva had no immediate comment on details of the appeal.
The WTO’s finding last December that U.S. tariffs against China were legal gave a victory not only to the Obama administration but also to the United Steelworkers union that had complained surging imports of Chinese tires were hurting U.S. producers.
The WTO’s appellate body generally takes three months to reach a decision on whether to uphold or reject all or part of a previous WTO ruling.
Reporting by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck; Editing by Matthew Jones