China appealed to the World Trade Organization to challenge US countervailing duties against Chinese exports in a package of 22 cases, including the recent solar panel case, said a statement on the website of China's Ministry of Commerce on Friday.
"We abstracted the common wrongdoings in 22 countervailing cases that the US launched against Chinese exports since 2006 and appealed to the dispute settlement body of the WTO for negotiations with the United States. Our aim is to fight against the misuse of trade protection measures and protect the rights of Chinese enterprises," said Li Chenggang, head of the ministry's department of treaty and law.
China's appeal points out that its state-owned enterprises are not public institutions or bodies, China's rightful support for industrial development was wrongly taken as subsidies, and the US made unfavorable presumptions in case of insufficient evidence from Chinese enterprises, Li said.
The export value of the package of the 22 countervailing cases including lightweight thermal paper, crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and utility scale wind towers, totaled $7.286 billion, according to the ministry.
The US has 10 days to respond to China's request, 30 days to start negotiations if it accepts the request and 60 days to conclude the negotiations. Failure to comply with any of these points will entitle China ask for a panel in the DSB to try the cases, according to WTO rules.
"We are confident of winning the DSB's support for our opinions because the wrongdoings of the US commonly exist in the 22 cases and our move is a defense of the multilateral trading system," Li said.
China's move came after the US Department of Commerce announced on May 17 that it will impose preliminary antidumping duties on Chinese solar power equipment, from 31 percent to 250 percent, after it ruled that Chinese manufacturers sold products below cost.
In 2008, China appealed to the DSB for negotiations with the US over four countervailing cases against Chinese exports including laminated woven sacks and won support from the DSB in March 2011.
"But it is a unfortunate that we did not see the US take measures to correct its wrongdoings in the following cases," Li said.
The ministry reserves the right to challenge the US over other issues in these cases and will take measures at an appropriate time to challenge the US wrongdoings in antidumping cases that the US launched against Chinese exports, Li said.