China on Tuesday launched the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement procedure over U.S. safeguard measures on imported photovoltaic products and subsidies for its renewable energy products, the Ministry of Commerce said.
"As the U.S. measures severely damaged Chinese trade interests, China's choice to resort to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism is a necessary move to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and multilateral trade rules," a spokesperson with the ministry said.
Previously, the United States took safeguard measures on imports of some photovoltaic products with additional tariffs of up to 30 percent.
The U.S. measures are suspected of violating WTO Agreement on Safeguards. "This kind of abuse of safeguard measures not only hurts the legitimate rights and interests of China, but also affects the seriousness and authority of WTO rules," the spokesperson said.
"Besides the safeguard measures, the United States granted additional subsidies to domestic renewable energy products, including photovoltaic products, which are suspected of being import substitution subsidies and violating its national treatment obligations.
"The U.S. subsidies provided its domestic renewable energy industry with an unfair competitive advantage, and damaged the rights and interests of Chinese renewable energy companies.
"The above-mentioned U.S. wrongful measures seriously distorted the international market for photovoltaic and other products and severely damaged China's trade interests. We urge the U.S. side to take practical action, respect WTO rules and abandon its wrong practices, to bring the trade of related products back to normal."