The United States wants the World Trade Organization to look into China's export subsidies, which U.S. trade officials challenge are outside of WTO's regulations.

"We are committed to challenging China's WTO-inconsistent practices that harm American workers and businesses," says U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab. "China's use of market-distorting subsidies creates an uneven playing field and subverts China's own efforts to foster consumption-led growth."

China has a more open and accessible trading atmosphere since it received WTO membership. No question that both the United States and China have benefited from improved trade relationships. The U.S. pork industry has seen good growth. But China has failed to meet all commitments, notes Schwab. She says the request to WTO surfaced because attempts at dialogue between the two countries has failed.

At issue are programs involving export subsidies that provide incentives for foreign investors in China and their Chinese partners to export goods to the United States and other markets. Other programs in question involve subsidies that encourage Chinese companies to purchase domestic equipment and accessories instead of buying from U.S. exporters.