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China Takes WTO Step in Dispute Over Trump's Trade Tariffs

  • Conflict Is Over U.S. duties on $250 billion of Chinese goods
  • Trade spat may move forward in January as sides seek solution
Views of Ningbo Container Port Ahead of the China International Import Expo
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China moved a step closer to launching a formal World Trade Organization inquiry into whether President Donald Trump’s $250 billion in tariffs against Chinese goods violate international trade rules, a process that could move forward next month.

The U.S. rejected China’s first request for a WTO inquiry in the matter, according to a participant at Tuesday’s dispute-settlement meeting. The trade body’s rules prevent the U.S. from blocking a dispute inquiry if China returns with a second request at the next WTO dispute-settlement meeting. The next such meeting is set for Jan. 28; the WTO could hold a special session before then to hear China’s second request.