WTO ruling finds China can penalize $645 million worth of US goods

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GENEVA (AP) — A World Trade Organization arbitrator has ruled that China can impose retaliatory tariffs on imports from the United States totaling up to $645 million a year, capping a dispute at ten years on US duties on certain Chinese products.

Wednesday’s dollar ruling follows a July 2019 ruling by the WTO’s dispute settlement process, which the United States has since bungled by refusing to allow the appointment of new judges to its body which acts like a kind of court of appeal.

China initially demanded a reward of $2.4 billion per year, while the United States argued that fair compensation would not have exceeded $106 million per year.

The decision allows China to take action to counteract what the WTO has ruled as unfair US tariffs on certain Chinese products, including thermal paper, solar panels, wind turbines, steel sinks and several types of pipes. .

The standoff predates a series of trade disputes between the United States and China through the WTO under the Trump administration.

China has still not applied retaliatory sanctions on US goods up to nearly $3.6 billion which were cleared by a WTO arbitrator in a separate ruling in November 2019.

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