Section 301 Investigation against China 413
XI JEAIL 2 (2018)
The US initiated a Section 301 investigation against China in 2017. Such a unilateral
investigation has run counter to the explicit commitments in the Statement of
Administrative Action. Even the basically reasonable ‘four corners’ defense can
neither apply nor justify this investigation. Consequently, especially based on the
Panel’s additional emphasis, the conditional international legality conrmed by the
Panel of DS152 case in the WTO should be untenable in this latest specic context.
By reutilizing this globally aversive tool, the United States could possibly prove itself
to be an unreliable partner and this would unavoidably incur severe reputational
costs and other potential harms to itself. Furthermore, this might, to some degree,
undermine or even undo the advances achieved in more than twenty years of
international rule of law in world trade after the establishment of the WTO. All in all,
only mutually benecial solutions are most desirable, effective and sustainable for both
China and the US.
Section 301, IPR, WTO Dispute Settlement, China-US Trade War,
Is the US Method of
Legally Tenable from
∗ Associate Professor at WTO Chair Institute-China (WTO Chairs Programme) of Shanghai University of International
Business and Economics; Research Fellow in Shanghai Center for Global Trade and Economic Governance. Ph.D.
(Fudan). ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5467-6397. This paper is supported by Shanghai Philosophical and Social
Science General Reserch Project (No. 2018BFX020) and WTO Chairs Programme. The author may be contacted at:
firstname.lastname@example.org / Address: Rm. 412, Multifunctional Building, 620 Gubei Road, Shanghai 200336 P.R. China.