China blasts US solar tariffs, takes WTO action

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China blasts US solar tariffs, takes WTO action

China officially filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Tuesday, claiming that the solar import tariffs imposed by the U.S. and its subsidies for local products harm China's legitimate rights and interests and clash with WTO rules.

BEIJING-China says it is challenging a U.S. tariff hike on solar panels before the World Trade Organization, adding to its sprawling conflicts with U.S. President Donald Trump over trade and technology. China's Ministry of Commerce said the 30 percent tariffs announced in January violates WTO rules.The fees also apply to imports of solar cells and units from Europe, Canada, Mexico and South Korea, Increasing strained relations with U.S. allies.

The U.S. solar action "seriously damaged China's trade interests" and "also affects the seriousness and authority of WTO rules", said a Commerce Ministry statement.

The move is not expected to have an immediate impact on China's major solar manufacturers, including GCL (0451.HK), Jinko Solar (JKS.N) and Canadian Solar CSOQ.O, as their exposure to USA markets was reduced after earlier trade disputes. On the same day, Turkey's imposition of tariffs on 266.5 million dollars of USA goods took effect.

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"The solar problem has existed for years". USA officials say such action is necessary because the WTO lacks the ability to address Chinese trade tactics.

The United States has accused China of using subsidies and bulk manufacturing capacity to drive down prices and put USA competitors out of business.

China claims its manufacturers have benefited not from direct subsidy but from a fiercely competitive environment that has driven down costs. Only a fraction went to the United States, with India the biggest market.

Trump, in recent months, has frequently complained that other countries are treating the a "piggy bank" and that the being "robbed" by their trade policies.

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