• The Financial District


A dispute settlement panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against the majority of the tariffs imposed by the United States on Chinese goods amid the trade war between the world's largest economies.

The WTO panel said the US measures violate a central principle of international trade and Washington's own terms of accession to the Geneva-based organization, Kyodo news service reported.

China welcomed the ruling, with a Commerce Ministry spokesperson calling it an "objective and fair" decision. Stressing that China has always supported the multilateral trading system and WTO rulings, the spokesperson said that China hopes the US side will fully honor the ruling of the WTO expert panel and respect the rules-based multilateral system. Curiously, China called the July 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) invalidating China’s claim of historic rights to Scarborough Shoal within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as “mere scrap of paper.”

In contrast, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer criticized the panel's conclusion, saying in a press release, "The WTO is completely inadequate to stop China's harmful technology practices." Pointing out that the WTO's latest report has confirmed allegations against Beijing by the administration of US President Donald Trump, Lighthizer said, "the US must be allowed to defend itself against unfair trade practices, and the Trump administration will not let China use the WTO to take advantage of American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers."

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