This new chapter of the trade war between the USA and China will be written from inside the chambers of the World Trade Organization. The People’s Republic’s minister of commerce announced, with an official note, that the country has presented an appeal to the World Trade Organization to contest the latest duties imposed by the US government on “made in China” goods.
According to the latest estimates made by analysts, the new duties imposed by Mr. Trump would hit imported goods for a value of 300 billion USD, part of which has already been affecting the products since this past Sunday. The Chinese government moves against this last decision, which isn’t shared by US footwear producers, announcing that it will “firmly defend its rights and legitimate interests”, as well as its multilateral commercial model and international orders, according to the laws created by the WTO. Chinese representatives accuse the US of being in violation of the agreement signed by president Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Junping, during the latest G20 meeting in Osaka, at the end of June. The countries had, in fact, decided to restart negotiations.
The intention of imposing new duties on Chinese products had been announced by Trump in May 2019, when he, via Twitter, had spoken of an imminent 10% to 25% increment of tariffs on a large portion of goods, along with the application of the same duties on another sizable number of products worth 325 billion USD, until then untouched by the US president. According to many, Mr. Trump took offense to the fact that the Asian partner doesn’t want to stop the government subsidies to companies involved in the made in China 2025 program. Xi Jinping and the whole countries were taken by surprise by Mr. Trump’s decision and, according to The Wall Street Journal, weren’t very pleased. After this “social” announcement, Trump moved to action: last Sunday the USA imposed new 15% tariff on a series of Chinese products such as clothing, footwear and appliances. At the same time, Beijing moved forward with the imposition of duties on automobiles and oil coming from the USA.