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China, S. Korea seek WTO support over new US trade tariffs

China and South Korea on Tuesday hit out at a US decision to impose stinging tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines. President Donald Trump approved the steep tariffs – up to 50 percent on large washing machines over three years and up to 30 percent on solar panels over four years – to protect US producers, AFP reported. Seoul, which signed a free-trade agreement with former President George W. Bush, said it would file a petition against the US at the World Trade Organization. Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong said the tariffs may constitute a “violation of WTO provisions.” According to Samsung, South Korea’s biggest firm, the tariffs were “a tax on every consumer who wants to buy a washing machine.” China’s Commerce Ministry warned that it will “resolutely defend its legitimate interests.”