U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer filed Five WTO Challenges against China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey for imposing "illegal tariffs against U.S. products".

US Actions Justified Says Lighthizer

“The actions taken by the President are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of U.S. law and international trade rules," said Lighthizer.

Response Not Justified

"Instead of working with us to address a common problem, some of our trading partners have elected to respond with retaliatory tariffs designed to punish American workers, farmers and companies,” said Lighthizer.

"The United States will take all necessary actions to protect our interests, and we urge our trading partners to work constructively with us on the problems created by massive and persistent excess capacity in the steel and aluminum sectors.”

China Fires Back

NPR reports China Files WTO Complaint Over U.S. Tariffs On $200 Billion Of Imports.

China has filed a case with the World Trade Organization against the U.S. to protest the Trump administration's plan to put new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism.

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China's Ministry of Commerce announced it is pursuing legal remedy against the U.S. in a brief statement on its website — the latest in an escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

The WTO complaint comes less than a week after the Trump administration published a preliminary list of more than 6,000 Chinese products that it wants to hit with an additional 10 percent duty. The list targets products worth a total of $200 billion, ranging from an expansive range of seafood and vegetables to stones, metals and plywood

More WTO Complaints Coming

Apparently it is OK to place Tariffs on absurd national security charges but it is not OK for countries to retaliate.

This is just the start of WTO filings. Canada, the EU, Turkey, and Mexico will all follow China with counter-charges.

Two Problems

  1. It may take years before the WTO rules and these charges.
  2. Trump does not give a damn what the WTO says.

Only one opinion matters to Trump: His.

Meanwhile, it seems that no one in any of these disputes has figured out t5he common-sense maneuver: No Matter What Any Other Country Does, the Correct Action is to Eliminate Tariffs.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock