China imposes anti-dumping measure amid trade tensions

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2016, file photo, paramilitary police patrol near a cargo ship at a port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province. China imposed measures Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, against importers of a U.S. industrial chemical, requiring them to post deposits in preparation for possible anti-dumping duties amid rising trade tension with Washington. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

BEIJING — China told importers of a U.S. industrial chemical to start posting deposits Tuesday in preparation for possible anti-dumping duties amid rising trade tension with Washington.

A preliminary ruling by the Ministry of Commerce said styrene monomer from the United States, South Korea and Taiwan is being sold at prices 5 to 10.7 percent below the proper level. The chemical is widely used to make packaging and consumer products.

Importers must now pay cash deposits while the ministry completes its investigation.

The ministry said in its ruling the Chinese styrene industry has been "substantially damaged" by dumping, which occurs when manufacturers sell a product to another country at unusually low prices.

The decision follows U.S. President Donald Trump's approval last month of higher tariffs on Chinese-made solar equipment and washing machines that Washington said were sold at unfairly low costs. The Trump administration is also due to announce results of a probe into whether Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology, which could lead to further penalties.

Beijing's steady accumulation of multibillion-dollar trade surpluses with the U.S. — which widened January to $21.9 billion — has prompted demands for import controls.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have accused Trump of threatening the global trade regulation system by taking action under U.S. law instead of through the World Trade Organization. Beijing has filed a challenge in the WTO against Washington's latest trade measures.

It also launched an anti-dumping investigation of U.S. sorghum exports earlier this month.

Styrene monomer figures largely in foam and plastic packaging, as well as low-cost consumer products, which are central to China's booming e-commerce industry.

Must Read

Asian markets lower after Wall Street decline

Sep 15, 2016

Asian stock markets were mostly lower Thursday following Wall Street's decline in light trading...

China plans 30,000-km high speed rail network by...

Dec 29, 2016

The Chinese government is planning to expand the country's high-speed rail network to 30,000...

China's Xi offers populist message in New Year's...

Dec 31, 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping says his government will continue to focus on poverty alleviation at...

China starts 2017 engulfed by smog, issues...

Jan 2, 2017

Beijing and other cities across northern and central China are shrouded in thick smog, prompting...

IMF raises China growth forecast but warns on debt

Jan 16, 2017

The International Monetary Fund has raised its growth forecast for China but warned that rising...

Sign up now!

Advertisement