International Trade Daily™ provides rapid, reliable notification of the most significant developments affecting U.S. trade and international business policy, as well as the policies of major U.S....
Nov. 9 — International trade officials said they expect President-elect Donald Trump will make good on his threat to challenge China's “illegal” trade policies at the World Trade Organization and label Beijing as a currency manipulator.
As president, Trump would have nearly unlimited authority to impose new retaliatory trade tariffs and antidumping measures that could benefit U.S. steel and aluminum producers such as the United States Steel Corp. and Alcoa Inc.
“The Trump administration will threaten and likely take aggressive action to open trade markets using new WTO cases, especially against China,” said Tim Brightbill, a partner at Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, D.C.
“I would expect a focus on trade enforcement from the outset,” said Scott Miller, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The top Chinese ambassador in Geneva said he's concerned that Trump would unfairly target Chinese trade policies and complicate Beijing's $659.4 billion annual trade relationship with Washington.
“We are a big trading partner of the U.S. and this creates some complications,” Yu Jianhua told Bloomberg BNA in an interview at the WTO.
Trump has promised to label China a currency manipulator and bring new trade cases against Beijing “both in this country and at the WTO,” according to Trump's official campaign platform.
The Trump campaign promised to use “every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities.”
Trump also pledged to challenge “China's unfair subsidy behavior,” which he argued is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO.
The U.S. recently filed a WTO dispute against China that challenged Beijing's alleged use of more than $100 billion in “illegal” government subsidies for producing rice, wheat and corn.
The Trump administration is unlikely to grant China market economy status or modify the way it calculates Chinese antidumping duties after a key provision in China's WTO accession protocol expires this year.
The current terms of China's accession agreement permit WTO members to use “analogue” market-based prices or costs in calculating antidumping investigations that often result in higher prices and higher antidumping duties.
When Article 15(a)(ii) of the Chinese accession protocol expires Dec. 11, WTO members must determine whether or not they will use Chinese prices or costs in antidumping investigations.
A senior trade official familiar with the matter said both Democrats and Republicans are aligned in their view of taking a tough line against China on the market economy issue.
The Obama administration recently argued that China's WTO agreement does not necessarily require the U.S. to drop its “analogue” antidumping methodology, which would reduce Washington's ability to protect U.S. industries with higher dumping margins based on comparable market prices.
It remains unclear whether Trump would approve either the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) or the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), as he has not specifically signaled his opposition to such deals.
“It's plausible that a Trump administration will re-examine the U.S. role in the WTO and could try to renegotiate either existing WTO agreements or pending negotiations like the TiSA,” Brightbill told Bloomberg BNA.
The goal of the TiSA negotiations is to liberalize trade for 70 percent of the $55 trillion global services marketplace by increasing market access for more than a dozen services sectors among 23 negotiating parties.
The EGA seeks to reduce tariffs on environmental products such as solar panels, water filters, electric motors and hydraulic turbines. Once completed, the deal could increase global exports of such goods by $119 billion a year, according to U.S. trade officials.
U.S. negotiators are currently working to complete both deals before the end of the year and have scheduled back-to-back ministerial meetings in Geneva to ideally complete the proposed accords.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bryce Baschuk in Geneva at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerome Ashton in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)