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China appeals WTO ruling on auto parts import measures
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China on Monday appealed against a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that found its auto parts import measures break international trade rules.

The WTO expert panel ruling was circulated in July, and it largely upheld US, EU, and Canadian complaints that Chinese tax measures on imported auto parts result in unfair competition.

"China cannot fully agree with the legal explanations and verdict of the expert panel," said a statement from the Chinese WTO mission.

The mission said it had appealed the case to the WTO's Appellate Body, and hoped that the body will make a fair-and-square decision on this.

Usually the Appellate Body needs 90 days to re-examine and rule on a case. It could maintain or overthrow a verdict by the expert panel.

China considers auto parts as a complete vehicle if they account for 60 percent or more of the value of a final vehicle and charges a higher tariff on them.

Chinese trade officials said the measure is meant to keep "lawbreakers" from exploiting the differences between tariff rates for importing entire automobiles and auto parts, and to protect consumer interests.

However, the three complainants argue that the Chinese tax measure deters auto-makers from using imported parts to build cars in the country, thus causing uneven competition.

(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2008)

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