China this week appealed a World Trade Organization decision to reject the country’s tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of US products, saying the ruling was erroneous. 

“China believes that the expert panel’s ruling in this case contains legal errors,” the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Tuesday confirming the appeal. The nation is disputing the ruling by the WTO panel “to safeguard its rights and interests.”

The WTO found last month that China violated its fundamental trade commitments when it imposed the tariffs in retaliation for former President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum duties. 

The panel agreed with Washington’s claims that China’s tariffs denied the treatment as a so-called most favored nation, and that Beijing violated other trade concessions it made when it joined the WTO. 

In its Tuesday statement, the commerce ministry said China’s tariffs were implemented in response to “unilateral and protectionist” measures taken by the US. The dispute dates back to the early days of Trump’s trade war, when his administration imposed 25% tariffs on global steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminum imports. 

A Beijing appeal acts as a veto because the WTO appellate body has been non-functional since 2019.