U.S. launches anti-dumping case vs. Chinese aluminum producers

U.S. launches anti-dumping case vs. Chinese aluminum producers

U.S. launches anti-dumping case vs. Chinese aluminum producers

The Trump administration launched an aggressive new trade action against imports of Chinese aluminum alloy sheet on Tuesday, the first USA -initiated anti-subsidy and anti-dumping probes in decades, drawing a strong reaction from Beijing.

The move, announced on Tuesday, will harm the aluminum products trade between the US and China, hurting both countries' interests, said the Ministry of Commerce in a statement. "This practice by the United States side is very rare in the history of global trade", China's Ministry of Commerce said.

Trade has always been a contentious topic in China-U.S. relations. "China expresses strong dissatisfaction towards the tendency of trade protectionism displayed by the USA". "We are self-initiating the first trade case in over a quarter century, showing once again that we stand in constant vigilance in support of free, fair, and reciprocal trade".

The ministry added it would adopt necessary measures to safeguard Chinese firms' legal interests.

Among the steps taken was the Trump administration in April launching national security investigations into Chinese imports of aluminium and steel, warning that they threatened to undermine producers crucial to USA defence needs. US steel and aluminum makers both blame Chinese excess capacity for depressing global prices and threatening their financial viability. From January 20, 2017, through November 29th, 2017, the Commerce has initiated 77 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations; a 61 percent increase over the previous year. China had said it had "strong dissatisfaction" with the US decision.

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The Commerce Department estimated anti-dumping duties of about 56.54 percent to 59.72 percent in the aluminum case. These imports to the USA totaled $603.6 million in 2016.

The Trump administration took new action Tuesday in its emerging strategy to ramp up trade pressure on Beijing, dusting off a little-used authority to combat imports of low-cost Chinese aluminum.

The Department of Commerce said this is its third "self-initiated" trade investigation over the past three decades.

If allowed to proceed, preliminary anti-subsidy duties could be issued in February 2018 with preliminary anti-dumping duties issued in April.

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