China has filed a World Trade Organization (WTO) complaint about President Donald Trump’s imported steel and aluminum tariffs.
According to reports, Beijing claimed that Trump’s tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum violate international trade rules and requested 60 days of dispute consultations with the United States under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
If consultations fail, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government would likely request a ruling from a panel of trade experts.
U.S. trade officials have called China’s complaint “completely baseless” because the Section 232 addresses the “national security threat” of imports and the tariffs are not safeguard actions.
“These actions are not safeguard measures and, therefore, there is no basis to conduct consultations under the Agreement on Safeguards with respect to these measures,” Dennis Shea, the U.S. ambassador to the WTO, told China’s Zhang Xiangchen earlier this month.
China’s trade complaint is the latest escalation in the trade dispute between the U.S. and Beijing.
Last month, President Trump threatened to slap tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports over forced transfer of intellectual property and theft of technology by the nation.
China responded by imposing $3 billion worth of tariffs on U.S. products, including fruit, pork, apples and steel pipes.
The back and forth continued last week when Trump said he would place an additional $100 billion of tariffs on Chinese imports. China hit back by threatening tariffs of equal value on American agricultural goods.
On Monday, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the president would be open to forming a coalition to settle trade disputes between the two nations.