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WTO: US violates trade rules in imposing import tariffs on steel, solar panels from China

Siqui Sanchez | The Image Bank | Getty Images

World Trade Organization judges found Monday that the United States had violated global trade rules by imposing import duties on a range of Chinese steel products and solar panels that Washington asserted had government subsidies.

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But the three-member panel also rejected some of the Chinese arguments against the U.S. countervailing duties in the $7.2 billion dispute brought in May 2012, which has echoes in Washington's trade relations with other countries.

Separately, the U.S. is studying a WTO ruling about anti-subsidy duties imposed on some Indian steel products and will consider all available options, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on Monday.

The WTO backed some key claims by India against countervailing duties imposed by the United States after claims some Indian subsidy programs had given steelmaker Tata an unfair advantage, but it rejected others.

"With respect to findings by the panel that U.S. measures breach WTO rules in certain respects, the United States is studying those findings and will evaluate all options to ensure that U.S. remedies against unfair subsidies remain strong and effective,'' the USTR said in a statement.

Either party in a WTO dispute can appeal, which typically takes six to 12 months. Duties remain in place in the meantime.

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—By Reuters