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American Shipper

WTO panel requested for China’s treatment of auto part imports

WTO panel requested for China’s treatment of auto part imports

The United States, European Union and Canada have asked the World Trade Organization to establish a dispute settlement panel regarding China’s treatment of auto part imports.

   The three countries say that China is imposing charges that unfairly discriminate against imported auto parts and discourage automakers in China from using imported parts in the assembly of vehicles.

   The United States initiated the case March 30, by requesting formal WTO consultations. “While we remain open to settling this dispute, China’s current stance leaves us no choice but to proceed with our WTO case,” said U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab in a statement on Friday.

   Increasing access to China’s auto market was a key issue in China’s accession to the WTO.

   The United States exported $681 million in auto parts to China in 2005, an increase of 6.5 percent over exports in 2004. Over this same period, the market for auto components in China increased 16.8 percent and the number of cars sold in China increased 27 percent. U.S. exports of auto parts to China accounted for 1.4 percent of total U.S. auto parts exports in 2005, representing about 10 percent of China’s auto parts imports, the USTR said.

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