WTO Rules Against U.S. Sanctions on China

Clint Thompson Trade

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was unhappy with a World Trade Organization (WTO) report that says U.S. actions to combat China’s widespread theft of American technology were inconsistent with WTO rules.


Lighthizer says the WTO panel report confirms what the Trump Administration has been saying all along. “The WTO is completely inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices,” Lighthizer says. “Although the panel did not dispute the extensive evidence submitted by the U.S. regarding intellectual property theft by China, its decision shows that the WTO provides no remedy for such misconduct.”

Lighthizer said the U.S. must be allowed to defend itself against unfair trade practices and the administration won’t let China use the WTO to take advantage of American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers. The Ambassador adds that it’s important to note that the WTO report doesn’t affect the Phase One Agreement between the U.S. and China, which includes enforceable commitments by China to prevent the theft of American technology.

The report covers the $34 billion tariffs announced in June 2018 and the $200 billion trade action announced in September 2018.

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