The United States has prevailed in a World Trade Organization or WTO dispute over China’s imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on flat-rolled electrical steel from the United States. The duties affected a substantial amount of United States trade in U.S. steel products. After talks with the Chinese failed to resolve the matter, the WTO established the panel in March 2011.
A WTO settlement panel sided with the United States, finding that China conducted an investigation and applied duties in a manner inconsistent with numerous obligations under the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement, and Anti-Dumping Agreement.
The victory could help steelworkers in Pennsylvania and Ohio. It could also – in theory – help farmers and workers in other sectors that export to China.
The decision says that China must do more to meet its transparency and due process commitments. The decision also carries the potential to strengthen future challenges to China’s trade tactics.
The Panel found that China breached its WTO obligations by:
- Initiating countervailing duty investigations based on insufficient evidence;
- Failing to provide non-confidential summaries of Chinese submissions containing confidential information;
- Calculating the subsidy rates for U.S. companies in a manner unsupported by the facts;
- Calculating the “all others” subsidy and dumping rates without a substantiated basis;
- Failing to provide an adequate explanation of its conclusions;
- Failing to disclose essential facts underlying its conclusions;
- Failing to objectively examine the evidence on the record; and
- Making unsupported findings of injury to China’s domestic industry