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US to impose tariffs on Chinese products
By Zhang Jin (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-17 02:17

The United States International Trade Commission has ruled that China has dumped plastic bags, ironing boards and tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol under market prices.

Analysts said the final decision discriminates against Chinese exporters and is the United States' latest attempt to narrow its trade deficit with China.

Chinese ironing-board makers face tariffs of as much as 113 per cent on US$19 million worth of exports to the United States each year, the trade commission said in a statement.

Bag manufacturers such as Rally Plastics Co will on average pay 23 per cent on the US$184 million worth of plastic shopping bags shipped to the United States.

Tetrahydrofurfuryl alcohol, which is used in industrial production, is subject to duties of 136.86 per cent, the highest of the three goods.

Only a few Chinese makers may have a narrow escape.

It is reported the Nantong Huasheng Plastic Goods Co, a private company in East China's Jiangsu Province, had a 2.26 per cent tariff imposed on it and a Shenzhen-based bag maker got a zero tariff in an early judgment by the US Department of Commerce.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce and relevant industrial associations were unavailable for comment Friday.

Analysts say the ruling would push a number of Chinese makers out of the US market.

"This is the latest example of US protectionism of its domestic industries in a bid to rectify the bilateral trade deficit," said Liang Yanfen, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation, a think-tank of the ministry.

"It also reflects increasingly tense trade relations as the US presidential election draws closer," she added.

The United States has imposed preliminary duties on Chinese bedroom furniture and shrimps in the past month.

US sock producers also petitioned to the Bush administration to impose quotas on the imports of Chinese socks in late June. The US Commerce Department will decide whether to take up the case on July 20.

"Friction between China and the United States will increase, given the huge trade volume and intensified commercial interactions," Liang said.

The two trading powers have a US$ 62.36 billion trade volume in the first five months.

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