New China Trade Restrictions — More Negotiations and Less Litigation? — Yes.

     Today China imposed antidumping and countervailing duties on the import of certain U.S. autos.  The auto sector, subject to prior WTO litigation, is a very sensitive sector of global commerce.
     This recent Chinese trade action is in context of aggressive use of trade measures and WTO litigation by the Bush and Obama administrations.
     Recent examples of U.S. actions by the Obama administration are:
  • WTO action against China concerning its clean energy policies;
  • WTO action against China’s restrictions on import of poultry from the U.S.;
  • U.S. domestic agency action (International Trade Commission) as to the import of Chinese solar panels into the U.S.  
  • Threatening new trade sanctions to combat commercial cyberwarfare by Chinese government-related enterprises.
     China generally responds confrontationally to aggressive use of trade measures and greater WTO litigation by the U.S.
     With billions to invest in both corporate and sovereign funds, Chinese investment is needed in the U.S. to promote economic development and jobs. State governors recognize this and so should those the Obama administration.
     I suggest that U.S. – China trade relations should not become a whipping boy this presidential election season. It’s not beneficial to anyone. At various times less litigation and more negotiations might be beneficial to everyone.

About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (Schar School of Public Policy).
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