Robert Lighthizer Rebukes ‘Completely Inadequate’ World Trade Organization Ruling Against U.S. Tariffs on China

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is rebuking the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling that deemed illegal U.S. tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese-made goods.

On Tuesday, the WTO ruled against President Trump’s tariffs on China that were imposed in 2018. Trump originally placed a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese-made goods and later imposed a 25 percent tariff on additional Chinese-made goods.

Lighthizer said the WTO’s finding that China has not engaged in harmful trade practices against the U.S. proves Trump’s longtime skepticism and critiques of the global trade body are justified.

“This panel report confirms what the Trump Administration has been saying for four years: The WTO is completely inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices,” Lighthizer said in a statement.

Lighthizer continued:

Although the panel did not dispute the extensive evidence submitted by the United States of intellectual property theft by China, its decision shows that the WTO provides no remedy for such misconduct. The United States must be allowed to defend itself against unfair trade practices, and the Trump Administration will not let China use the WTO to take advantage of American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers. [Emphasis added]

Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) Chairman Dan DiMicco, who previously advised Trump on trade issues, said the ruling reveals the WTO’s “utter contempt for U.S. interests.” said CPA Chair Dan DiMicco. He added:

It’s laughable that the WTO would claim the U.S. hasn’t ‘justified’ the tariffs. Every other WTO nation already shares similar concerns about China’s aggressive behavior. And it’s ludicrous to claim the U.S. failed to seek proper recourse after Beijing simply walked away from months of talks last year.

Trump’s tariffs were imposed after an investigation by Lighthizer revealed that China’s anti-competitive trade practices against American tech firms cost the U.S. $50 billion every year.

In March 2018, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released the findings of a lengthy investigation into China’s anti-competitive practices against U.S. tech firms.

“The relevance and usefulness of the WTO has been further called into question as it protects China’s state-directed economy from change,” CPA CEO Michael Stumo said.

Since 2001, U.S. free trade with China has eliminated at least 3.4 million American jobs. In 1985, before China entered the WTO, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled $6 billion. In 2019, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled more than $345 billion.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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