[ Daily News | December 12, 2016 |Inside US Trade]
The Commerce Department is unwilling to label China a market economy for the purposes of antidumping investigations, while Beijing believes the U.S. is obligated to do so under provisions of its World Trade Organization Accession Protocol that expired on Dec. 11, and immediately requested consultations with the U.S. at the WTO.
Observers of the WTO, including the multilateral body’s Deputy Director General Yi Xiaozhun, hoped for and predicted smooth dispute settlement proceedings. “The issue will be raised to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, then they will have an answer,” Yi told reporters after a Dec. 12 event on the 15th anniversary of China joining the WTO, hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“It’s a controversy among the WTO members, and they will use professionally the WTO solution, the multilateral dispute settlement mechanism to solve it,” he said.
The U.S. stance on the issue, which was expected, was made clear in a statement from a senior Commerce Department official. “China’s WTO Protocol of Accession does not require that WTO members automatically grant market economy status to China, or discontinue use of all alternative antidumping calculation methodologies on, or after, December 11, 2016,” the official said.