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Trump's tariffs violated global trade rules, WTO says

September 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Shipping containers from China and other Asian countries are unloaded at the Port of Los Angeles as the trade war continues between China and the US, in Long Beach, California on September 14, 2019. - China announced it will exempt soybeans and pork from its retaliatory tariffs, a hugely symbolic move to appease Trump ahead of a new round of talks due next month. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The World Trade Organization said Tuesday that President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods break international trade rules.

Washington (CNN)The World Trade Organization said Tuesday that President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods break international trade rules.

The WTO sided with a complaint from China over tariffs imposed on about $234 billion of goods in 2018.

The panel found that the tariffs violated several rules, including one that countries apply equal tariff rates to all member trading partners.

Trump has imposed tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports in an effort to bring Beijing to the negotiating table and address issues over intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.

The United States and China agreed to a preliminary deal earlier this year, but most of the tariffs remain in place.

"Although the panel did not dispute the extensive evidence submitted by the United States of intellectual property theft by China, its decision shows that the WTO provides no remedy for such misconduct," Lighthizer said in a statement.

China currently has tariffs imposed on US-made goods, too, but the United States has not filed a formal complaint over those duties.

Tariffs have been a go-to tool for Trump.

Also on Tuesday, the United States agreed to lift tariffs on Canadian aluminum, hours before Canada was set to announce retaliatory tariffs.

Instead, the United States is imposing a quota and reserving the right to reimpose the tariffs retroactively if the quota level is exceeded.

In August, Trump reimposed a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum, arguing the imports threatened US national security.

He had lifted the tariffs on Canada and Mexico last year amid negotiations over the new NAFTA.

The US Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Trump administration's move, because the tariffs made aluminum more expensive for some American manufacturers.

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