The United States has begun two new litigation proceedings under the World Trade Organization (WTO) against certain Chinese measures on steel and electronic payment services.
The first proceeding challenges China’s imposition of antidumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of U.S. grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES), which is used in the manufacture of high-efficiency transformers, electric motors and generators. According to the United States, China’s imposition of these duties is in violation of numerous evidentiary and procedural rules under the WTO.
The second case challenges certain Chinese measures that prevent U.S. credit card companies from supplying credit, debit, pre-paid and other electronic payment services directly to Chinese customers in China. According to the United States, in 2010, “several hundred billion dollars worth of electronic payment transactions” were processed in China and controlled almost exclusively by a single Chinese domestic entity.
The two proceedings will be litigated separately, but follow similar procedural steps. Formal WTO dispute settlement panels will be established in both proceedings over the next few months. U.S. companies affected by these Chinese policies will have an opportunity to submit written comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and engage with USTR staff on the cases. Other WTO members, including the European Union, may join one or both of these cases.
The McDermott Difference
McDermott Will & Emery's International Trade Group is actively engaged in WTO and U.S.-China matters, and has the support of our Shanghai-based strategic alliance partner, MWE China Law Offices. Our lawyers can advise and assist clients with interests in the steel and electronic payments sectors by counseling on strategies for their business operations affected by these WTO actions, assisting in the preparation of comments to USTR or working with the government parties to help safeguard client interests. For more information, please contact one of the authors of this article.