China filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization ("WTO") last month, claiming that the United States had improperly conducted antidumping investigations and administrative reviews related to 13 different products from China. The Government of China reported that the challenged proceedings covered a total Chinese export value of $8.4 billion. Antidumping investigations determine whether imported products have been sold at unfairly low prices, and such investigations may result in the application of additional duties. China's complaint alleges that the United States violated its obligations under the WTO by applying excessive antidumping duties on imports of certain products from China as a result of the investigations.
Chinese products covered in the challenged proceedings include certain paper products, steel and aluminum products, photovoltaic cells, and wooden bedroom furniture. This is the eighth WTO case China has filed against U.S. trade remedy measures, and the fourth such complaint China has filed in 2013. A representative of the Government of China stated that, although the Government of China has previously filed complaints pertaining to individual products, it included common issues from multiple U.S. proceedings in this single complaint in order to more cost-effectively address any issues.
China claims that the proceedings mentioned in its complaint were conducted inconsistently with various provisions of two WTO agreements -- the Antidumping Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ("GATT"). Particular methodologies challenged by China include several aspects of the U.S. government's analysis in the specified investigations: the "targeted dumping" methodology, the presumption that all producers and exporters from a non-market economy comprise a single entity (and calculation of a duty rate to apply to the "PRC-wide entity"), and the application of adverse inferences to parties that have failed to cooperate.
China's complaint is the first step in the WTO's dispute settlement process. Under WTO rules, the governments of China and the United States have a 60-day period in which to engage in consultations about the issues China raised before China is authorized to request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to rule on this case.