USTR Accepts USW Section 301 China Petition, Delays Consultation Request

(Via Inside U.S. Trade)

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk today (Oct. 15) announced that he is accepting the Section 301 petition filed by the United Steelworkers (USW) union alleging a wide range of Chinese subsidies and policies that unfairly affect trade and investment in green technologies, to the detriment of U.S. companies and workers.

At the same time, Kirk announced he will hold off on seeking consultations with the Chinese government for 90 days. Such a delay is permitted under U.S. law for the purpose of verifying or improving the petition to ensure an adequate basis for consultations, a point that Kirk made in a statement issued today.

“In light of the large number of allegations and the extensive documentation accompanying them, I have asked my staff to utilize the 90-day period allowed by statute to thoroughly examine and verify USW’s claims,” he said.

Kirk said that for those allegations that are “supported by sufficient evidence and that can effectively be addressed through [World Trade Organization] dispute settlement, we will vigorously pursue the enforcement of our rights through WTO litigation,” according to the statement.

USTR’s investigation will consider whether acts, policies and practices of the Chinese government deny U.S. rights and benefits under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) and under China’s Protocol of Accession to the WTO, according to the announcement.

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