Beijing Criticizes US Bill Targeting Subsidized Chinese Goods

Posted March 7th, 2012 at 3:20 am (UTC-5)
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The Chinese government on Wednesday criticized the U.S. Congress for passing a law that allows the United States to impose higher tariffs on imports from China and other state-run economies.

Lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the measure, which is meant to counteract government payments that many say give Chinese exporters an unfair advantage on the international market.

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said Beijing is not obligated to follow policies dictated by other countries, and that the higher U.S. tariffs are not in line with international rules.

“It is the World Trade Organization rules that we abide by. We do not have a duty to abide by some country's internal laws and regulations, which go beyond the rules of these international organizations.”

Chen also said China did not impose countervailing measures when the U.S. “subsidized automobile companies in the form of bailouts” during the global financial crisis.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden welcomed Congress' decision on Tuesday, saying it had taken a “clear stand against the unfair trade practices that have put countless American jobs in jeopardy.”

The bill came in reaction to a December court ruling that found the U.S. Commerce Department did not have the authority to impose the higher duties because Congress had not given it that right.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have now approved giving the Commerce Department that right, and the bill is now headed to President Barack Obama for his signature.