WTO rules against China over auto parts dispute

2008-07-19 06:26:09 GMT       2008-07-19 14:26:09 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) sign. The WTO said it had ruled against China in a complaint brought by the United States over Chinese import tariffs on car parts.(AFP/File/JORGE UZON)

GENEVA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday ruled against China over its auto parts dispute with the United States, the European Union and Canada.

The formal verdict, released by a WTO expert panel, maintained an interim ruling delivered in February.

It largely upheld U.S., EU, and Canadian complaints that Chinese tax measures on imported auto parts violated WTO rules.

China considers auto parts as a complete vehicle if they account for 60 percent or more of the value of a final vehicle and charges a higher tariff on them.

Chinese trade officials said the measure is meant to keep "lawbreakers" from exploiting the differences between tariff rates for importing entire automobiles and auto parts, and to protect consumer interests.

However, the three complainants argue that the Chinese tax measure deters auto-makers from using imported parts to build cars in the country, which costs jobs abroad.

This is the first time that the WTO has ruled against China in a trade dispute.

China still has the right to appeal.

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