The World Trade Organization will probe import tariffs imposed by the U.S. on Chinese tires in September, says the Wall Street Journal, citing documents published Monday by the Geneva-based trade arbiter.
The newspaper says the investigation follows a Chinese appeal filed after the tariffs were announced in September. At a meeting on Jan. 19, the WTO will formalize a three-judge body that will look into whether the U.S. respected WTO rules in levying the so-called safeguard tariffs on Chinese tires.
According to the Journal, the panel will publish a decision after nine months of investigation. If it finds that the U.S. unfairly imposed the tariffs, it could authorise China to put tariffs on key U.S. imports, up to the amount lost by Chinese exporters because of the duties. The U.S. can appeal, meaning the case could last several years, notes the Journal.