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US trumps China at WTO over duty on cars

The United States has scored a major victory against China in a trade dispute at the World Trade Organization. The ruling affirmed complaints China broke WTO rules when it imposed duties on vehicles imported from the US.

Washington has emerged victories in a trade dispute with Beijing over punitive duties levied on American cars and trucks, the World Trade Organization said on Friday.

The body's decision that China violated WTO rules when it imposed import duties of up to 21.5 percent on vehicles made in the US with engines of 2.5 liters and above was an important win for the American auto industry, whose exports to China last year totaled some $8.6 billion.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman welcomed the decision but said he still found it troublesome that Washington had to bring three WTO cases against China in the first place.

"We remain deeply concerned by the troubling pattern of China's misuse of anti-dumping and countervailing duty measures," Froman told reporters.

He said the duties, which

expired in late 2013

, affected $5.1 billion in American auto exports to China that year.

The case against China came on behalf of nine automakers with factories in the US, including three major American companies and six foreign ones. In addition to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, some non-US brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Honda and Toyota were also represented.

cjc/ sri (Reuters, dpa)

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