August 10, 2015

United States Wins WTO Challenge Against Chinese Steel Tariffs

On Friday, July 31 the World Trade Organization released a ruling that found China had failed to eliminate tariffs on grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel products that violated WTO rules. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman praised the ruling. The office of the U.S. Trade Representative said, “This compliance challenge was the first time any WTO Member had initiated a WTO proceeding to challenge a claim by China that it had complied with adverse WTO findings.” 

As Reuters explained, the Obama administration brought a suit challenging the tariffs to the WTO about four-and-a-half years ago, but after the WTO ruled in the United States’ favor and required China to get rid of the tariffs, the United States was forced to go back to the WTO early last year to argue China had not complied. Seeing the writing on the wall, China ended the tariffs in question, which cost U.S. steelmakers at least $200 million annually, in April.