On April 5, 2018, China requested for consultation with the US under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, starting officially the dispute settlement procedure. Official from MOFCOM Department of Treaty and Law made comments on that.
The 232 measures of the US was actually trade protectionism in the guise of safeguarding “national security.” On the one hand, the US excluded some countries and regions selectively, and on the other hand, the US slapped duties on some WTO members including China. The US practice severely violated the non-discrimination principle of the multilateral trading system and its commitments on tariff concession of the WTO and the rules and disciplines of safeguards, and harmed the legitimate interests of China as a WTO member. As for that the US refused to have compensation negotiation with China according to WTO rules, China had to start the trade dispute settlement procedures, to safeguard its legitimate interests.