China Issues World Trade Organization Challenge to Washington’s Proposed $200 Billion Tariff Threat

A World Trade Organization (WTO) logo is pictured on its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, June 3, 2016. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Beijing filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Monday over the Trump administration’s latest tariff threat.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce threatened to file the complaint last week after the Trump administration announced it was compiling a list of $200 billion in Chinese goods to be hit with ten percent tariffs. The proposed tariffs, the latest development in the now months-long escalating trade war, would not go into effect until September and it remains unclear exactly what goods they would effect.

“We are unable to fight equally,” Tu Xingquan, director of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, told the Associated Press.

The Trump administration has harshly criticized the WTO for failing to constrain China and the imbalanced trade relationship it enjoys with the U.S.

In contrast, the complaint “indicates that [China] values the role of the WTO rules,” according to Tu.

Beijing responded dollar-for-dollar earlier this month after Washington imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods in retaliation for Chinese pressure on American companies to turn over proprietary technology in exchange for access to Chinese markets.

Due to the trade deficit, Beijing only has roughly $80 billion in American imports left to tax and has not yet responded to the latest tariff threat with a threat of its own.

“There might be some adjustment in China’s approach to countermeasures,” according to Tu.

American business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce have cautioned the Trump administration against continuing to escalate the multiple trade wars currently being waged against North American and European allies, as well as China.

Most Popular


Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More
Politics & Policy

On Painting Air Force One

And so it has come to this. Two oil tankers were just attacked in the Gulf of Oman, presumably by Iran. The United States and China are facing off in a confrontation that is about far more than trade. The southern border remains anarchic and uncontrolled. And Congress is asking: “Can I get the icon in ... Read More