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China calls WTO ruling ‘dangerous’ in solar cell row with U.S. By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : Employees chat behind the American and Chinese flags during the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services. (CIFTIS), Beijing. September 4, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo

GENEVA (Reuters) – China lambasted a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling in a row with the United States over Washington’s measures to limit the import of solar panel cells, calling it “erroneous and dangerous” on Monday.

The United States won a WTO panel victory earlier in the month. It rejected all of China’s claims, and said that U.S. trade laws were not broken by the U.S. China indicated last week that it will appeal against the decision.

According to the Chinese delegation’s statement, China’s delegate said that China was deeply concerned by “systematically damaging findings” made in the panel report.

It stated that the panel report sent a dangerous and erroneous signal to WTO members and would lead to abuse of safeguards and undermine rules-based multilateral trade system.

In 2018, the United States implemented a tariff system and a quota after U.S. manufacturers complained about how imports had increased in certain crystalline silicon solar cells. This was to prevent domestic industries from being seriously damaged.

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They will continue to implement the “safeguard” measures for four more years. Each year, duty rates will drop by 30%. Solar modules as well as solar cells are subject to the duties.

China’s appeal is not likely to have an immediate effect as the WTO top dispute settlement body doesn’t have enough judges. The reason is that the former U.S. president Donald Trump’s administration blocked the appointment of judges to the body, and rendered its operations ineffective.

“The United States is disappointed that China has now decided to press onward by appealing the Panel report in spite of overwhelming evidence of the damaging effects of China’s non-market practices…,” the U.S. delegate said at the same meeting on Monday.

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