Beijing (AFP) April 13, 2010
China said Tuesday it has imposed duties on a common electrical steel made in the United States and Russia, in apparent retaliation for Washington's recent decision to slap tariffs on Chinese pipes.
The announcement came as Chinese President Hu Jintao visits the US capital for a nuclear security summit hosted by US President Barack Obama and amid growing trade tensions between the two countries.
The commerce ministry ruled that the United States and Russia sold the grain-oriented electrical steel, which is widely used in the power industry, at less than normal value, the ministry said in a statement.
Importers of the steel will have to pay an anti-dumping tax of up to 64.8 percent on products from the United States and up to 24 percent on those from Russia, the commerce ministry said on its website.
China also will charge a countervailing tax of up to 44.6 percent after an investigation found US companies received government subsidies on grain-oriented electrical steel, it said.
The decision was effective from Sunday. The ministry did not disclose the value of the products affected.
The move is the first time China has launched a dual anti-dumping and countervailing investigation on a foreign product, it added.
Last week, the US Commerce Department said it had made a "final determination" in an anti-dumping probe that China had sold tubes used in oil and gas wells in the United States at a price less than fair value.
The department said a cash deposit or bond equal to the weighted-average dumping margins would be collected on the goods, which were valued at around 1.1 billion dollars in 2009.
Tensions between China and the United States have intensified in recent months over a range of issues including Taiwan, Tibet and the yuan, which critics say has been artificially kept low to give Chinese exporters an unfair advantage.
Obama kept up the pressure Monday on China to revalue its currency, telling Hu Jintao to adopt a more "market-oriented" exchange rate for the yuan, but Hu said a policy shift would not help rebalance Sino-US trade.
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China said Saturday its first trade deficit in six years proved the nation's exchange rate did not play a decisive role in global economic imbalances amid pressure to allow the yuan to appreciate. International critics say Beijing has kept the currency artificially low to boost exports, resulting in massive trade surpluses with the United States and Europe. The issue has become a major sore ... read more
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