The United States violated World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and its own public commitment by launching a Section 301 investigation unilaterally and threatening punitive tariffs against China, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Tuesday.
In accordance with the WTO rules, its members are forbidden to unilaterally assume when others break WTO rules and are not allowed to unilaterally stop tariff concessions or other obligations without WTO authorization.
Meanwhile, the United States has breached its own public commitment made in the Statement of Administrative Action in 1994.
The statement declared that the U.S. trade representative should decide that its rights under the WTO framework are infringed only based on the decision of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.
The United States on April 3 announced tariffs on a proposed list of Chinese goods worth 50 billion U.S. dollars, covering industries in aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics and machinery.
The list was authorized by the U.S. Trade Representative's office, which in August 2017 initiated an unfounded investigation under the Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 to probe China's intellectual property and technology transfer practices.