The US today said it has launched a new trade enforcement action at World Trade Organisation against China’s export duties on nine different raw materials.
When China joined the WTO, China agreed to eliminate its export duties on these products, but it has failed to follow through on this commitment, US Trade Representatives (USTR) Mike Froman said.
The latest action is the 13th trade enforcement case the Obama Administration has launched against China at the WTO – more than any other WTO country over the same period.
The US has won every case that has been decided so far.
USTR said the export duties imposed by China provide substantial competitive advantages for Chinese manufacturers by making them more expensive for US manufacturers that rely on these raw materials to produce their downstream goods.
These nine raw materials – antimony, cobalt, copper, graphite, lead, magnesia, talc, tantalum, and tin – are key inputs into high-value Made-in-America products in vital industrial sectors, including aerospace, automotive, electronics and chemicals.
China’s export duties provide an unfair competitive advantage to China at the expense of American workers and manufacturers, USTR alleged.
“It all comes down to fair competition—a notion that is fundamental to who we are as Americans,” Vice President Biden said in a statement.
“One of the most important ways we have done that is by enforcing our trade laws—more aggressively than any previous Administration in history. Because here’s what I know—given a level playing field, American businesses and American workers will out-compete anyone. Period,” he said.
“These duties are China’s attempt to game the system so that raw materials are cheaper for their manufacturers and more expensive for ours,” said Froman.
“This scheme is directly at odds with WTO commitments China has made, and as we’ve shown time and again, we will hold them accountable to their commitments. This case is part of the Administration’s continuing work to level playing field for American workers and manufacturers in order to grow our economy and support quality jobs here at home,” Froman added.