BEIJING, Jan. 20 -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday established an expert panel to investigate and rule whether punitive US tariffs on Chinese-made tires breach WTO regulations.
The panel was established at a meeting of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), at which China reiterated its position that the US tariffs "run short of factual bases and breached the US obligations under the WTO."
"The Chinese government deeply regretted the US decision to impose restrictions on Chinese tires and believed it was a departure of international consensus of G20 leaders to fight against protectionism," the Chinese delegation said.
"China once again urges the United States to promptly withdraw its measures. And we believe the panel will make impartial determination on this case," it added.
China initially made the panel request in December, but it was rejected by the United States in accordance with relevant procedures.
US President Barack Obama approved punitive tariffs up to 35 percent on all car and light truck tires from China last September in a so-called attempt to "remedy the clear disruption to the US tire industry."
The same month China filed a complaint to the WTO and requested consultations with the United States on the dispute.
Panel establishment is the second step in the WTO's dispute settlement procedure following failed consultations between the two sides.
The WTO expert panel usually consists of three members, and it takes up to 45 days for them to be appointed. The panel will need at least half a year to issue its final report.