US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick announced on Thursday that the US was filing its first trade case against China before the World Trade Organization (WTO), contending that China is violating WTO rules against discriminatory treatment by providing a preferential tax rate for integrated computer circuits produced in China that is much lower than the tax paid by US and other foreign companies.
"US manufacturers of semiconductors and other products have a right to compete on a level playing field with Chinese firms," Zoellick said.
The US notice will begin a 60-day consultation period in which the two sides can seek to resolve the issue through negotiations. If that fails, the US government can proceed with a case before a WTO dispute panel.
(Xinhua News Agency March 19, 2004)