US levies anti-dumping tariff

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The United States International Trade Commission has decided to levy an anti-dumping tariff of up to 174.85 percent on imports of Chinese electric blankets.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce did not comment on the issue yesterday, but its spokesman has denounced similar US decisions.

The decision was final because the US Commerce Department agreed with the tariff at the beginning of this month.

The US Commerce Department mainly investigates whether there is dumping behavior and, if so, its severity. The US International Trade Commission rules whether the practices create damage to related industries. If both agree there is dumping, then US Customs will start collecting tariffs.

A tariff of 77.75 percent will be imposed on three companies that responded to the investigation - Ningbo Veken Co Ltd, Ningbo Jifa Electric Appliances Co Ltd and Hongguo Electric (Shenzhen) Co Ltd. Other Chinese firms will face a tariff of up to 174.85 percent.

Industry observers said many Chinese exporters of electric blankets will be forced out of the American market because they only earn profits of 4 to 5 percent.

The US imported made in China electric blankets valued at US$55.9 million last year.

The US decision was made not long after the Toronto summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in the world late last month, where the US and leaders of other countries pledged to fight various forms of protectionism.

Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization, said in Shanghai last week that China will be the No.1 victim if the world is plagued by protectionism.

China faced 38 trade remedy investigations in the first half, more than doubling the number of cases in the same period of last year.

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