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Duties on China steel draw sharp reply

By Paul Welitzkin In New York (China Daily USA) Updated: 2016-05-27 11:58

The US resumed its campaign against steel exports from the Chinese mainland with anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties of up to 450 percent on corrosion-resistant steel, drawing a sharp rebuke from China on Thursday.

The Commerce Department on Wednesday also levied duties of 3 percent to 92 percent on corrosion-resistant steel from India, Italy, South Korea and Taiwan on Wednesday.

Ministry of Commerce said it was dissatisfied at what it called the "irrational" US move. "The United States has deliberately suppressed the bulk of Chinese steel exports," the ministry said in a statement. "This not only harms Chinese steel enterprises but hinders trade and cooperation between enterprises."

It said that US regulators discriminated against Chinese suppliers by using incorrect standards for deciding what production cost and market prices should have been.

The US actions are having a profound impact on steel prices in the US, according to John Packard, publisher of Steel Market Update, an industry news source.

"The duty rates against China are prohibitive and will most likely result in China being removed as a supplier into the US coated-steels markets," Packard said.

Packard said the issue of trade suits being used as a way of controlling the massive over-capacities of steel production has been spreading from the US to Europe, South America and elsewhere.

"Over the short term we expect flat-rolled steel prices will be higher around the world with the possible exception of China. This has already occurred here in the United States," he said.

The ruling comes as tensions mount between Beijing and Washington amid a glut of steel in the global market due in part to the sharp fall of oil prices nearly two years ago that trimmed steel demand in energy-related projects.

Last week the Commerce Department imposed duties of up to 522 percent in a separate action on Chinese cold-rolled flat steel, which is used for car bodies and appliances.

The US announcement on Wednesday clears the way for the first duties to be assigned on steel products since the US steel industry started filing cases a year ago.

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