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Thursday, June 23, 2016, 14:21

US steel industry overprotected: China

By Xinhua

US steel industry overprotected: China

BEIJING/WASHINGTON - China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) criticized a decision by the United States to impose punitive duties on Chinese steel products on Thursday, saying the US steel industry was overprotected.

"China is deeply worried about the United States's trade protectionism in the steel industry," the MOC said in a statement. "China believes that overprotection is the very reason US steel products uncompetitive."

The US trade authority ruled Wednesday that the US industry had been "materially injured" by imports of cold-rolled steel flat products from China and Japan.

As a result, the US Commerce Department will levy anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of these products from China at a rate of 265.79 percent and 256.44 percent, respectively.

There were 161 ongoing trade remedy duty orders issued by the US authorities on imported steel products as of the end of April, which shows excessive protection of the country's steel industry, the MOC said.

It attributed the global steel glut to slumping demand after the financial crisis, warning that growing US protectionism could only increase trade friction and conflict.

The best solution is stronger cooperation and coordination, the MOC said, calling for joint efforts to tap potential demand to benefit all countries.

It urged the United States to abide by World Trade Organization rules and apply trade remedy measures discreetly.

For products from China, the antidumping duty rate is 265.79 percent and the countervailing duty rate is 256.44 percent, according to the Commerce Department's final determination in May 2016.

In 2015, imports of these products from China and Japan under investigation were estimated at about US$272.3 million and US$138.6 million, respectively, according to US official data.

On the same day, the US Commerce Department said that imports of hydrofluorocarbon blends and single hydrofluorocarbon components from China have been sold in the United States at dumping margins of 101.82 percent and 216.37 percent in its final determination.

As the refrigerant in residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration applications, the United States imported the above products from China at about US$165 million in 2015, according to the US official data.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged the United States to abide by its commitment against trade protectionism and work together with China and other members of the international community to maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.

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