JEAIL > Volume 11(2); 2018 > Regional Focus & Controversies
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2018

Is the US Method of Challenging China's IP-related Practices Legally Tenable from an International Legal Perspective?

Yang Yu
Rm. 412, Multifunctional Building, 620 Gubei Road, Shanghai 200336 P.R. China.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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 confirmed by the Panel of DS152 case in the WTO should be untenable in this latest specific 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 beneficial solutions are most desirable, effective and sustainable for both China and the US.

Keywords : Section 301, IPR, WTO Dispute Settlement, China-US Trade War, International Law

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