Trade Dispute Erupts in WTO: US Files Against EU, Four Others, China Against US


The WTO has a lot of challenges headed its way. Trade Guns are blazing and more will follow.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer filed Five WTO Challenges against China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey for imposing "illegal tariffs against U.S. products".

US Actions Justified Says Lighthizer

“The actions taken by the President are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of U.S. law and international trade rules," said Lighthizer.

Response Not Justified

"Instead of working with us to address a common problem, some of our trading partners have elected to respond with retaliatory tariffs designed to punish American workers, farmers and companies,” said Lighthizer.

"The United States will take all necessary actions to protect our interests, and we urge our trading partners to work constructively with us on the problems created by massive and persistent excess capacity in the steel and aluminum sectors.”

China Fires Back

NPR reports China Files WTO Complaint Over U.S. Tariffs On $200 Billion Of Imports.

China has filed a case with the World Trade Organization against the U.S. to protest the Trump administration's plan to put new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism.

China's Ministry of Commerce announced it is pursuing legal remedy against the U.S. in a brief statement on its website — the latest in an escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

The WTO complaint comes less than a week after the Trump administration published a preliminary list of more than 6,000 Chinese products that it wants to hit with an additional 10 percent duty. The list targets products worth a total of $200 billion, ranging from an expansive range of seafood and vegetables to stones, metals and plywood

More WTO Complaints Coming

Apparently it is OK to place Tariffs on absurd national security charges but it is not OK for countries to retaliate.

This is just the start of WTO filings. Canada, the EU, Turkey, and Mexico will all follow China with counter-charges.

Two Problems

  1. It may take years before the WTO rules and these charges.
  2. Trump does not give a damn what the WTO says.

Only one opinion matters to Trump: His.

Meanwhile, it seems that no one in any of these disputes has figured out t5he common-sense maneuver: No Matter What Any Other Country Does, the Correct Action is to Eliminate Tariffs.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (4)
No. 1-4

Like no restrictions on human organs harvested from political prisoners while they are still alive? Transplant Tourism Trade! Hey, maybe there IS a solution to all the illegal aliens here...


Every country is technically sovereign. Each sets its own labor laws, its own business laws, and own environmental laws. Investors seek to maximize the return on their investment by an arbitrage of sovereignty. In order for the losing side of the arbitrage to become more competitive it must decrease the arbitrage by decreasing the legal differences between countries. The logical conclusion is globalism forces countries to adopt the rules of the least restrictive, and most likely the least safe, country to have an equal cost basis. Globalism also destroys sovereignty. The EU certainly proves there is no one-size-fits-all solution to governing a culturally diverse continent, and the rise of populism is a realization sovereignty was attacked.


I guess a new business model will emerge. You can only make/sell products in your own sovereign country. so much for economics 101 (i.e comparative advantage)


Actually thimk, I believe that is where the US is headed. Trump is isolating the US from global trade a little bit at a time. Meanwhile, the rest of the world will continue to pursue freer trade with each other wherever possible.

Global Economics