BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Commerce Ministry expressed "regret" on Thursday after the United States challenged Chinese subsidies supporting billions of dollars of exports across industries from steel to shrimp.
China consistently follows World Trade Organization rules and its policies are important measures to promote the healthy development of its foreign trade, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
In launching the legal challenge, Washington said Chinese companies in designated export hubs benefited from free or subsidized services, cash grants and other incentives which gave their products an unfair advantage.
The U.S. request for consultations, lodged on Wednesday, is the first step in a World Trade Organization dispute.
Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Richard Borsuk