September 16, 2010

TRADE WAR: USA Takes Steel, Credit Card Disputes to WTO

US Trade Rep Ron Kirk is taking two cases against China to the WTO. The first is a tit-for-tat move to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of Chinese grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel or GOES. The case is on behalf of complaints by AK Steel and Allegheny Ludlum. AK Steel Holding is a private steel conglomerate that has seven plants in politically sensitive Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, and employs 4,900 members of Richard Trumka's AFL-CIO union. AK Steel complained in SEC filings that it was negatively impacted by Chinese duties on its GOES sales.

The second case demands access for US credit card giants to China's online processing or electronic financial services. The suit claims that China agreed to such access in 2006 although it is unclear as the China Trade Relations Act and the WTO accession agreement do not include the services...

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