China airs 'strong dissatisfaction' over U.S. statement to WTO: Xinhua

Workers check steel bars at a factory of Dongbei Special Steel Group Co., Ltd. in Dalian, Liaoning province, China November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has expressed “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to a statement by the United States to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it opposes granting China market economy status, Xinhua reported.

China has already appealed to the WTO over a similar case, state news agency Xinhua reported the ministry as saying on Saturday.

The U.S. and the European Union argue that Beijing’s pervasive role in the Chinese economy distorts and prevents market determination of domestic prices.

The strong response from MOFCOM is the latest volley in an increasingly tense trade relationship between Washington and Beijing, as the Trump administration prepares for trade actions and after a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday that some countries were trying to “skirt their responsibility” under WTO rules.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Alexander Smith