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U.S. asks WTO to judge two trade spats with China

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Friday it had asked the World Trade Organization to decide on two disputes with China, one on restrictions Beijing has imposed on U.S. specialty steel exports and the other on access to its credit and debit card market.

"We are troubled by the procedures and decision-making employed by China in its trade remedy investigations, which have now led to serious restrictions on exports of American steel," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said.

"We also remain deeply concerned about China's continuing efforts to reserve its domestic payment card market for one state-owned enterprise, to the exclusion of American credit and debit card companies," Kirk added.

Once a WTO dispute settlement panel is formed, it typically takes 12 to 18 months for a final public decision.

The United States requested consultations with China on the two cases back in September, but said those talks failed to resolve U.S. concerns.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; editing by Eric Beech)