While to controversy over China's and Vietnam's shoe dumping (In the Spotlight – 20 March 2006) continues the US, EU and China are embroiled in a new row, this time focusing on car parts.

The US and EU have accused China of imposing illegal tariffs on foreign components for car parts to stop them being used in Chinese car assembly plants.  The US and EU have turned to the World Trade Organisation in a bid to have the car parts industry, estimated to be worth £10.8bn opened up.

China has ten days to respond to the request from the US and EU to open it's market to foreign car parts, however if it does not respond the World Trade Organisation could step in and rule on the dispute.  All members of the WTO have to abide by it's rules and WTO members are empowered by the organisation to enforce it's decision by imposing trade sanctions on countries that have breached the rules.

Commentators claim that the current tensions between China and the West are the result of its growing economic importance and power.


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