Dec. 1 (UPI) -- China is striking back after the United States informed the World Trade Organization it is opposed to granting the world's second-largest economy market economy status.
China voiced its opposition to the U.S. move by calling on its trading partners to suspend the use of third-country price comparisons to calculate anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese imports, regardless of China's market economy status, Caixin reported Friday.
The dispute began when the United States rejected China's bid to be recognized as a market economy, according to the South China Morning Post.
Taking an action against China that hasn't been pursued since 1991, the U.S. Department of Commerce has begun a "self-initiated" anti-dumping investigation into Chinese aluminum alloy sheets, the Post reported.
China is seeking market economy status to enjoy better rates on anti-dumping duties.
The new status would also allow the country to be exempt from third-country price comparisons.
The latest development could throw a wrench into improved relations between the United States and China.
Speculation is rising whether Trump is preparing to launch a trade war with China.
"The Trump administration remains deeply unhappy with the U.S.-China trade and investment relationship and has been exploring various ways to take policy action to force changes," wrote Louis Kuijs, an analyst with Oxford Economics.
Trump has also sought China's assistance in increasing pressure on North Korea.
Pyongyang recently launched another long-range missile and is seeking U.S. recognition as a nuclear weapons state.