38China has already officially filed a trade complaint against the US with the WTO over the steel and aluminium tariffs.How does the WTO Adjudicate Cases?The WTO’s forum for arbitration is called the dispute settlement mecha-nism (DSM). The DSM is run by a rotating staff of judges, as well as a permanent staff of lawyers and administrators. The WTO appoints a panel to hear the case if the opposing parties are unable to resolve the issue through negotiations. A panel’s rulings, if not overturned on appeal, are binding on the respondent country. If guilty, it has the choice to cease the offending practice or provide compensation. If the country fails to respond, the plaintiff country can take targeted measures to offset any harm caused, such as blocking imports or raising 37. Ibid. 38. Richard Higgott, “From Policy to Populism: Donald Trump’s Trade Policy in Global Context”, Elcano Royal Institute , April 10, 2018, available at: http://-7b15-4798-8c43-9ad4e152b533/ARI47-2018-Higgot-From-policy-to-populism-Donald-Trumps-trade-policy-global-context.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID =ae4e55bf-7b15-4798-8c43-9ad4e152b533
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US-CHINA Trade War: Analyses of Deeper Nuances and Wider Implications34tariffs. Member states have filed more than five hundred disputes since the WTO’s creation in 1995, but most of these cases have been settled prior to litigation.39The US officials have said are they are ready to talk with China. Both sides are making use of the procedures available in the WTO to reduce the risks of disputes escalating. The US has asked for consultations with China on intellectual property. It must be said that both sides appear reluctant to give the WTO's dispute proce-dure time to reach a conclusion. It does take many months -sometimes years. Of course the judgment won't inevitably be what the complaining country wants.Even if they do retaliate without having been authorised by the WTO, the fact that both are making use of the procedure suggests they attach some value to the rules based system that the organisation manages.40ChinaWhen China joined the WTO in 2001, it was allowed in as a ‘developing nation’, subject to very low tariffs on its exports to West, but was permitted to impose high tariffs to protect its own rising industries from the US and European competition. The assumption was that as China grew and the WTO moved to a new regime, China would quickly cut its tariffs. But, the WTO still has not completed a new trade round and China has refused to voluntarily lower its tariffs.China developed an industrial policy that often bent the WTO rules. The government gave away cheap land and state guided banks granted cheap loans for new industries, but foreign companies that wanted access to China’s market were forced to pay to play —to have a Chinese partner and be willing to transfer their advanced technology to them. As a result, over time, Beijing was able to force multinationals to shift more and more of their supply chains to China, and grow
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