China on Thursday filed a request for consultation under the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement framework with the United States regarding the U.S. Section 232 measures that slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said.
"With the United States refusing to enter compensation negotiations in accordance with WTO rules, China has to initiate the dispute settlement procedure to protect its rights and interests," the ministry said in a statement.
Despite worldwide objection, the U.S. administration decided last month to impose a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports from countries including China after the its Department of Commerce launched the Section 232 investigation into these imports.
The U.S. Section 232 measures are "trade protectionism in the name of 'national security'," the MOC said.
By imposing tariffs on some of the WTO members including China while selectively excluding some countries and regions from the target list, the United States has seriously violated the principle of non-discrimination in multilateral trade, it said.
This has also severely breached the promise of tariff concession the United States has made under the WTO, as well as rules and disciplines concerning safeguard measures, which damaged the rights and interests of China, said the MOC.