China turns to WTO in aluminum foil dispute with United States

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Ministry of Commerce has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) for consultations on a recent U.S. move to impose antidumping duties on imports of Chinese aluminum foil.

The ministry, which accused Washington of breaking world trade rules after the United States on Oct. 27 imposed duties of up to 162 percent on Chinese foil imports, said late on Friday it had submitted the request for supplementary consultations under the WTO dispute resolution mechanism on Nov. 3.

The move comes as U.S. President Donald Trump, who in April ordered a probe into the impact of U.S. aluminum imports on national security, prepares to visit China from Nov. 8-10.

Beijing complains that the United States uses a now expired clause in China’s 2001 WTO accession deal that for years allowed other WTO members to use a third country’s prices to assess whether Chinese goods were being dumped.

“Regrettably, the United States has ignored the expiration of Article 15 ... and still persists in its erroneous practice of continuing to use the ‘third country’ method in its anti-dumping investigations on imported products of China in violation of its obligation to WTO rules,” the ministry said.

In August, the United States made a separate preliminary decision to impose countervailing duties on Chinese aluminum foil.

Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Richard Pullin