China’s Ministry of Commerce Responds to Tariffs, USTR Report

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) issued official responses to President Trump’s decision to impose safeguard tariffs on imported large residential washing machines and imported solar cells and modules as well as USTR’s 2017 Report to Congress on China’s WTO Compliance.
Wang Hejun, Director of the Bureau of Trade Relief Investigation under MOFCOM, called the decision to impose a 30 percent tax on imported solar panels and a 20 percent tax on washing machines an “abuse” of trade remedy measures. “China expresses strong dissatisfaction,” Wang says in MOFCOM’s statement. Wang goes on to say that the decision has not only caused concern from global trading partners, but was also opposed by local governments and downstream companies in the US. China will continue to “resolutely defend its legitimate interests”.
MOFCOM also issued a statement in response to USTR’s China WTO Compliance Report. Hong Xiaodong, Director in MOFCOM’s Department for WTO Affairs called this year’s report “inconsistent and self-contradictory”. Hong stated that China has not only fulfilled its WTO commitments but has continued to further expansion in certain areas on the basis of WTO concessions. Foreign-funded restrictions in the manufacturing sector dropped by more than 50 since China joined the WTO, Hong said. China will also hold its first International Import Export Expo in November this year, the first large-scale expo with imports as the theme and a signal of China’s intent to further opening up to the world. China has actively participated in WTO negotiations including concluding the Agreement on Trade Facilitation and expansion of the Information Technology Agreement.
Trade relations between China and the US have formed into an interdependent pattern, Hong says. As two of the world’s largest economies it is natural for some differences to arise, however issues should be resolved through “friendly consultations”. China has never threated to take unilateral actions. The statement ends with Hong stating that China will “resolutely safeguard its legitimate interests”.