China has filed a complaint against the US to the World Trade Organisation in response to semiconductor export controls on Beijing, its Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.
“China takes legal actions within the WTO framework as a necessary way to address our concerns and to defend our legitimate interests,” said a statement by China’s commerce ministry, its diplomatic mission in Geneva relayed.
It added that the US curbs “threatened the stability of the global industrial supply chains”.
The United States passed a sweeping set of regulations in October aimed at kneecapping China’s semiconductor industry, prompting a complaint from a top China trade group.
China’s request for consultations is the first step in a long procedure at the global trade body. The United States has blocked appointments to the WTO’s top ruling body on trade disputes, meaning some rows never get settled.
“We have received a request for consultations from the (People’s Republic of China) related to certain US actions affecting semiconductors,” Adam Hodge, a spokesman for US Trade Representative’s office said.
“As we have already communicated to the PRC, these targeted actions relate to national security, and the WTO is not the appropriate forum to discuss issues related to national security,” Hodge said in an emailed statement.
China’s complaint on US chip export curbs announced in October comes days after a WTO ruling against Washington in a separate suit about metal tariffs that had been brought by China among others.
The United States, a regular critic of the WTO’s arbitration proceedings, rejected the WTO’s findings.
Reuters with additional editing by Alfie Habershon