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US steel probe violates principles of fair trade: China industry group

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-27 16:04

BEIJING - China's steel industry group has voiced concern over the US probe on steel imports, saying the move sends a signal of protectionism and is against the principles of fair trade.

The announcement by China Iron and Steel Association came in response to US President Donald Trump's call for the initiation of a trade probe on steel imports on national security grounds last week.

The US president has signed a memo directing his administration to expedite an investigation into whether steel imports are jeopardizing US national security.

"China's steel exports to the US are quite limited, which absolutely won't affect the security of the US steel industry," the association said in a statement, adding that US steel imports mainly came from other countries, not China.

In 2016, China exported 1.17 million tons of steel to the United States, accounting for only 1 percent of China's total exports of the material.

Data from the United States showed they imported 789,000 tons of steel from China, accounting for merely 2.6 percent of the country's imports of the metal.

The statement stressed that both China and the United States were facing industrial overcapacity in the global market, and as a major producer, consumer and trader of steel, China had taken solid steps to address the issue.

Likewise, the Unites States should also make efforts to adjust industrial structure and eliminate outdated capacity to promote healthy development in the sector, the statement said.

Tackling overcapacity in bloated sectors such as steel and coal has been high on the Chinese government agenda in recent years. In 2017, China aims to slash steel production capacity by around 50 million tons.

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