Australia’s trade minister says the latest Trump administration threat to impose new tariffs on $300bn worth of Chinese goods could, if it eventuates, breach World Trade Organisation rules.
Speaking on Sky News on Sunday, Simon Birmingham said it “may well” be the case that the US would breach WTO rules.
Birmingham, who was in Beijing for trade talks, said China had launched actions in the WTO in response to previous actions by the Trump administration, and the latest threat “is something that has been announced but not yet taken effect”.
“The application of those sorts of unilateral tariff actions is not something we have welcomed and it may well be [a breach of WTO rules], but that is something for the independent process,” he said.
Birmingham said a “bigger and more immediate concern” than the process was the practical impact of the escalating dispute on global trade volumes, and on global economic growth.