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China urges US, EU to abide by WTO rules in anti-dumping investigations

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-12 17:30

BEIJING - The European Union's new anti-dumping rules that grant separate treatment for imports under "significant market distortions" are not in compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.

The concept of "significant market distortions" is not stated in the anti-dumping rules of the WTO, said MOC spokesperson Gao Feng at a press conference.

The move is thus groundless and will harm the effectiveness of the WTO anti-dumping legal system, as it adds uncertainty to the rules' applications, Gao said.

Earlier this month the European Parliament's negotiating team and the EU ministers in Strasbourg struck an informal agreement on new investigation methods for anti-dumping, which introduced "significant market distortions" other than the "analogue country methodology" when calculating dumping margins.

The informal agreement will be put to a vote in the international trade committee on Oct 12 and by the full house at the November plenary session in Strasbourg.

In response to the US deferring its preliminary determination in the anti-dumping duty investigation of aluminum foil from China, as well as delaying a decision on China's status as a non-market economy country, Gao said the concept of "non-market economy country" also does not exist in WTO rules.

According to WTO requirements, anti-dumping investigations against imports from China under the "analogue country methodology" were banned starting Dec 11, 2016. The methodology calculates the value of products from so-called "non-market economies" using costs of production in a third country.

"All WTO members are required to keep their promises, abide by international law, and fulfill their obligations," Gao said.

The US Department of Commerce made a preliminary decision in August to slap hefty anti-dumping duties on Chinese producers and exporters of aluminum foil.

The department said it would defer issuing the preliminary determination of the investigation, including a decision on China's NME status, to no later than Nov 30, 2017.

In 2016, imports of aluminum foil from China were valued at an estimated $389 million.

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