The U.S. is denouncing a World Trade Organization (WTO) appellate ruling that exposes the U.S. to potential Chinese sanctions because it did not fully comply with a previous WTO ruling.
China could impose sanctions on the U.S. if it does not remove specific tariffs that violate WTO rules, according to a ruling Tuesday by the international trade regulator's appeals judges.
China went before the WTO in 2012 to challenge U.S. anti-subsidy tariffs on certain exports that include solar panels and wind towers. The exports were then valued at nearly $7.3 billion.
The office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Tuesday's WTO ruling affirmed the U.S. proved China used State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to help bolster and distort its economy. But the judges also said the U.S. must honor Chinese prices in order to measure subsidies.
The USTR said "The WTO appellate report undermines WTO rules, making them less effective to counteract Chinese SOEs that are harming U.S. workers and businesses and distorting markets worldwide."
The USTR also said the U.S. "is determined to take all necessary steps to ensure a level playing field" with China.
European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said earlier Tuesday the WTO's appeals court could temporarily collapse this year as the U.S. opposes the nomination of its judges.
U.S. President Donald Trump has blocked appointments to the seven-member court, accusing judges of overstepping their authority and ignoring instructions. The block is not expected to be lifted anytime soon, raising the possibility the tribunal could be cut to one judge by December 11. With only one judge, the WTO's appeals court would not be able to hear new cases.