China slams Trump for raising import duties on Chinese goods
US president has increased tariffs on solar power components and washing machines, saying China is using unfair trade practices to undercut US manufacturers
China on Tuesday criticised US President Donald Trump’s decision to raise import duties on solar power components and washing machines as an abuse of trade remedies.
Trump’s action could threaten the international trading system, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement. It repeated criticism that Washington is improperly responding to trade complaints under US law instead of through the World Trade Organisation.
Trump acted on a recommendation by the US International Trade Commission to limit the impact on American manufacturers from a flood of lower-cost imports.
“The US side once again abused its trade remedy measures,” the commerce ministry statement said. “China expresses its strong dissatisfaction with this.”
Chinese officials have repeatedly accused Trump of jeopardising international trade regulation by imposing penalties under US law instead of pursuing a WTO complaint.
“China hopes the United States will exercise restraint in using trade restrictions and compliance with multilateral trade rules and will play a positive role in promoting the world economy,” the statement said.
Beijing will “resolutely defend its legitimate interests”, it said, giving no details of a possible response.
The foreign ministry defended China’s role as a global trader on Monday after the US Trade Representative’s office said Washington had made a mistake by supporting Beijing’s WTO membership on terms that failed to open its economy.
China is “making great contributions” to trade, said a ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying. She said unilateral actions by Washington pose an unprecedented challenge to the multilateral trading system.
Beijing faces growing complaints from Washington, Europe and other trading partners that it improperly subsidises exports and hampers access to its banking, energy and other industries in violation of market-opening commitments it made when it joined the WTO in 2001.
The Trump administration is expected to announce results in coming weeks of its “Section 301” investigation launched in August into whether Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
The commerce ministry said earlier Beijing would “resolutely safeguard” its interests if Washington takes action.
The Chinese authorities also criticised Washington earlier this month for invoking national security concerns in blocking e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma’s proposed acquisition of the money transfer service MoneyGram.