Chinese, US experts applaud China for filing WTO dispute settlement

Experts in both the U.S. and China gave credit to China for initiating WTO dispute settlement proceedings against the “surrogate country approach” used by the EU and U.S. to calculate anti-dumping measures. Experts argued that the move was constructive, representing “an important step” in solving the dispute.

Charlene Barshefsky, a former trade representative who played a role in China’s accession to the WTO, said at a seminar that it is the right choice for China since the proceedings can head off escalation of trade conflicts and promote a final resolution. She added that the panel of experts will make its final decision independently, and all parties involved must enact the results.

Yang Guohua, a professor at Tsinghua University School of Law, expressed confidence in winning the proceedings, given that the provisions in Article 15 of the Protocol on the Accession of the People’s Republic of China to the WTO make it clear that “in any event, surrogate country system shall expire 15 years after the date of accession.” The provision means that, starting from Dec. 11, 2016, any future anti-dumping cases against China should be compared with prices in China.

Matthew Yeo, a partner at Washington-headquartered Steptoe & Johnson LLP, agreed with Yang’s views. Many interpretations of the article were fabricated in recent years, Yeo said, adding that the dispute filed by China was of critical importance since the issue will finally be resolved under the framework.

China on Monday requested consultations with the United States and the European Union regarding the surrogate country approach when calculating anti-dumping measures against Chinese exports under the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute-settlement mechanism, the Ministry of Commerce said. 

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