HOUSTON, April 6 — The U.S. protectionist move to impose tariffs on Chinese imports seeks to bypass the World Trade Organization (WTO) and is a “big mistake”, a U.S. political scientist told Xinhua on Thursday.
“These tariffs that have targeted China confirm that the Trump administration intends to bypass the WTO’s dispute settlement body and unilaterally rely on U.S. law alone regarding the ongoing trade dispute with China. That is a big mistake,” Jon R. Taylor, a political science professor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, said.
WTO rules and regulations were established to provide a global mechanism to resolve trade disputes, he said.
“If the U.S. follows through on these tariffs, so will China,” he warned. “The ball is in the U.S. court.”
The standoff started with the United States on Tuesday announcing a proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs. It covers Chinese exports worth some 50 billion U.S. dollars with a suggested tariff of 25 percent.
China on Wednesday replied to the protectionist action with its own tariff plan — a list of products imported from the United States worth 50 billion dollars that will be subject to higher tariffs.
China’s Customs Tariff Commission decided to impose additional tariffs of 25 percent on 106 U.S. products under 14 categories, including soybeans, automobiles and chemical products.
In a salvo to that, U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened to slap additional tariffs of 100 billion dollars on China, saying he has instructed the U.S. Trade Representative to consider whether such tariffs would be appropriate.