WASHINGTON (July 5, 2012)—The U.S. filed a complaint against China today with the World Trade Organization for imposing duties on more than $3 billion worth of U.S.-made autos, a senior U.S. official said.
“The key principle at stake is that China must play by the rules of the global trading system. When it does not, the Obama administration will take action to ensure that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field,” a senior administration official said.
The trade duties cover more than 80 percent of U.S. auto exports to China, including cars manufactured in Toledo and Marysville, Ohio, and Detroit and Lansing, Mich.
“The duties disproportionately fall on General Motors and Chrysler products precisely because of the actions that President Obama took to support the U.S. auto industry during the financial crisis,” the official said.
China, the world's biggest car market, announced plans on Dec. 14, 2011, to impose anti-dumping duties as high as 12.9 percent on GM vehicles and 8.8 percent for Chrysler vehicles.
The United Steelworkers union issues a statement in support of the Obama administration's action.
“The auto and auto parts sector is one of the main engines that drives America's economy,” the USW said. “More than 350,000 Steelworkers make products that can end up in an auto part or final vehicle. Our members make products ranging from steel and aluminum, to plastics, rubber and glass, to final products like tires, transmissions and countless other items. From mining to final products, Steelworkers are involved.”
The USW said its members' future and the future of the auto parts and auto sectors are inextricably
The complaint comes as President Obama campaigns in Ohio, an important election battleground state where auto plants have been affected by the duties.