The U.S. government is seeking World Trade Organization support in its effort to combat tariffs on American automobiles imposed by China.
China’s tariffs affect only vehicles made in the U.S. and not vehicles made in China by joint ventures between U.S. automakers and Chinese manufacturers, CNNMoney noted.
The tariffs raise the price of American imports to China by between 2% and 21%. The U.S. government complained that $3 billion worth of automobiles, 80% of U.S. vehicles imported to China, had been hit with the tariffs.
Chinese officials defended the tariffs saying they were imposed according to China’s “anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations.”
American officials indicated that General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Chrysler had been hit with the largest Chinese tariffs, due to the government bailouts they received several years ago.
However, GM indicated that vehicles imported from the U.S. account for just 1% of the 1.2 million vehicles its has sold in China so far this year. The remainder are produced in China with its joint venture partners.
By contrast, Ford (NYSE:F) has sold 225,000 vehicles built in joint ventures with Chinese manufacturers in China this year.