US blocks China's WTO probe bid

UNITED STATES: The US has blocked China's attempt to initiate a formal probe at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) into US duties on imported Chinese wind turbine towers.

The US duties of 14% to 26% were imposed in May after an investigation by the US Department of Commerce.

"The United States conducted the proceedings transparently and with all the procedural safeguards provided for under WTO [agreements]," said the US Trade Representative when it blocked China’s request on August 31.

The US claims that the subsidies give Chinese tower manufacturers an unfair advantage in the US, where the market is contracting because of policy uncertainty.

China can again ask for a probe at a WTO meeting for settling disputes on September 28.

Consultations between the two countries in June and July had failed to resolve the trade quarrel, which has been escalating for several months.  

Separately, the US has imposed duties on towers imported from both China and Vietnam because of alleged dumping by each countries’ tower sector and on Chinese solar panels.

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