China welcomes US decision on steel pipe trade
Updated: 2006-01-02 20:15
BEIJING (Reuters) - China welcomed on Monday a decision by U.S. President
George W. Bush to reject a request by some U.S. manufacturers for curbs on
imports of steel pipes.
"The Chinese side believes that the policies the
U.S. government has adopted up to now in these special protection cases help the
healthy and stable trade relations of the two countries," a spokesman for
China's Commerce Ministry said in a notice on its Web site (www.mofcom.gov.cn).
The other cases it referred to were on clothes hangers, chair height
adjustment parts and car brake parts, products the statement said the U.S. had
decided not to take measures against.
Steel-pipe producers have asked for curbs under a special provision of
Beijing's accession in 2000 to the World Trade Organization that allows
countries to restrict imports of manufactured goods from China in response to a
But Bush said that since many other countries also supply steel pipes to the
U.S. market, any curbs would likely be replaced by imports from third countries
and that restricting Chinese imports would cost U.S. consumers.
China has also pressed the U.S. to reform its anti-dumping procedures, saying
they are unfairly slanted against target countries, especially China.
The decision on steel pipes, which was announced on Friday, comes as the Bush
administration faces pressure from Congress to take a tough line on trade with
China. The U.S. trade deficit with China is estimated at about $200 billion for
On a visit to Beijing last month, Franklin Lavin, U.S. Under Secretary of
Commerce for International Trade, said increasing exports to China rather than
protectionist measures against Chinese imports was the most constructive way to
address the trade deficit.
He also said he suggested to Chinese officials a mechanism for bilateral
dialogue on the steel sector to head off potential trade disputes.