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Large cars,SUVs: US wins trade dispute with China

Total US auto exports to China totalled $8.6 billion. PHOTO: FILE

WASHINGTON: 

The US has won a trade dispute with China over duties slapped on US exports of large cars and sport utility vehicles, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said.

China, the second-biggest market for US auto exports, in 2011 started levying punitive duties on vehicles with engines of 2.5 litres and above, in retaliation for US trade policies.

The duties have since expired. China, which only joined the WTO in 2001, is the second most common target of US disputes at the trade body after the European Union.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the duties affected $5.1 billion in US auto exports in 2013, including popular models such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Buick Enclave and Cadillac Escalade. Total US auto exports to China totalled $8.6 billion.

Although Froman said he was pleased China had dropped the duties, which ranged up to 21.5%, he said it was worrying the US had brought, and won, three WTO cases against China over unfair import duties.

“We remain deeply concerned by the troubling pattern of China’s misuse of anti-dumping and countervailing duty measures,” Froman said at a news conference, flanked by Michigan lawmakers Sander Levin and Debbie Stabenow, whose state is home to US car makers Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co.

China argued the duties were imposed because US automakers had received US government subsidies and dumped their vehicles into the Chinese market, harming China’s auto industry.

Schumer, who represents New York state in Congress, said the actions breached a WTO agreement on intellectual property requiring countries to protect trade secrets.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2014.

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