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Tim Brightbill Comments on China's WTO Challenge to U.S. Trade Cases

The Washington Post
May 29, 2012

Tim Brightbill, a partner in the International Trade Practice, was interviewed by The Washington Post after China asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to block tariffs levied by the U.S. Commerce Department in a series of trade cases involving Chinese products, including solar panels.

The Post reported that the "appeal to the WTO takes aim at the U.S. Commerce Department, which has recently imposed stiff duties on Chinese products. The department has cited Chinese subsidies, especially those funneled through state-owned enterprises, that it says give Chinese firms an edge over American competitors."  Earlier this month, the Commerce Department ruled that Chinese solar cell and module manufacturers sold their products in the United States at prices below the cost of production and imposed antidumping duties ranging from 31 to 250 percent. 

Mr. Brightbill told The Post that "our practices and procedures on subsidy cases are consistent with WTO rules. The same cannot be said for China.  China's state-owned enterprises provide a variety of goods and services, including raw materials like steel, aluminum and polysilicon, at subsidized and discounted rates."  In response to China's WTO petition Mr. Brightbill said "this is basically a broadside against the Commerce Department's practices in general, and in particular our procedures for using the trade laws to deal with China's state-owned enterprises, which distort the global marketplace on all products - from steel to solar panels to services."