China has resorted to the WTO in a bid to build worldwide pressure on the USA, which it says has failed to comply with an earlier WTO ruling regarding its anti-dumping duties on Chinese imports.
News of the invite comes as it emerged Thursday that USA firms in China are beginning to feel the pinch of tariffs already imposed on the Asian giant.
It also showed looming tariffs on $200-billion of Chinese goods is expected to expand the pain to three-quarters of firms.
It's unclear yet what specific sectors have been affected by the suspension, but it will likely include industries that Beijing has promised to open to foreign businesses, such as banking, securities, insurance and asset management, said Jacob Parker, vice-president for China operations of the USCBC.
The sides have been engaged in an escalating tit-for-tat trade fight for months but on Wednesday it emerged that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited top Chinese officials to discuss the issue.
The talks could stave off the growing costs for American firms, though the two sides have failed to reach an agreement over several rounds of negotiations in spring and summer.
The U.S. -China Business Council (USCBC), a nonpartisan non-profit representing around 200 American companies, told Observer that, in recent weeks, the council has been hearing from U.S. companies about delays and challenges getting licensing approvals in China.
The survey released Thursday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China polled almost 200 European firms doing business in China and found 17 percent are delaying investment or expansion plans.
About 30 per cent said they were adjusting supply chains by seeking to source components and/or assembly outside the USA, and about the same number were seeking to source components and/or assembly outside China.
As a result, Chinese tech stocks are taking a beat across the board.
The European chamber said about 5 percent of companies reported shifting production out of the United States and about 7 percent were moving out of China.
However, Trump has repeatedly threatened to slap hefty tariffs on other Chinese imports.
This may be bad news for China, but despite what Chinese funded media outlets might want people to believe, it is good news for the redistribution of capital in the region, and therefore also good for global trade. "But that scenario risks underestimating China's capability to continue meeting fire with fire".
So far, the United States and China have hit US$50 billion worth of each other's goods with tariffs in a dispute over U.S. demands that China make sweeping economic policy changes, including ending joint venture and technology transfer policies, rolling back industrial subsidy programs and better protecting American intellectual property.