May 23 - The U.S. won a World Trade Organization case against China over duties slapped on cars imported from America. Fred Katayama reports.
U.S. automakers can take a victory lap. The U.S. has won a major World Trade Organization case against China. Three years ago, China had slapped duties of up to nearly 22 percent on big sedans and sport utilities imported from the U.S. Beijing charged that U.S. automakers were getting government subsidies and dumping cars onto the Chinese market. The Obama Administration fought back, filing a complaint with the WTO in 2012. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL FROMAN, U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE, SAYING (ENGLISH): "This is a significant victory. In 2013, the United States exported $65 billion worth of autos, $8.5 billion of that went to China, which accounts for our second largest export market for U.S. autos. China's unjustified duties affect more than $5 billion of these exports." China is the world's largest car market, and it's a key export market for GM and Ford. The WTO ruling comes at a sensitive time when U.S. trade and diplomatic relations with China have markedly worsened. Just this week, Washington accused five Chinese military officers of hacking American companies to steal trade secrets. China responded by suspending working discussions with the U.S. on cyber security. The U.S. court victory is symbolic, however. China let the auto duties expire last year.