CHINA WINS ONE BIG CASE (‘Security Exception’ and §232 Tariffs) — FILES NEW BIG CASE (Export Controls and Chip Sanctions)


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The WTO dispute Settlement system has jumped back into the news. Big time.  Now becoming the epic center of U.S. – China trade issues. Raising the legal issue of national security and trade restrictions.

China has won its case against the U.S. concerning Trump’s (and now Biden’s) Section 232 steel tariffs. The WTO determining that the defense of national security (‘security exception’ Gatt Article XXI) was not applicable.

Almost immediately afterwards China filed a new case alleging violation of WTO rules concerning the Biden administration’s imposition of export controls on the sale of semiconductor chips to China. This also involves the issue of national security and the potential U.S. defense of Article XXII security exception. 

The problem is the Biden administration has followed the Trump administration in its disdain for following global trade rules and insulting the WTO.

‘Security’ Exception’ Article XXI Panel Report DS544 (December 9, 2022).

“China Files New Case Against U.S. as to Chip Sanctions — Trade Protectionism.”) Financial Times (December 13, 2022).

About Stuart Malawer

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