China urged United States to take a fair approach in tackling trading problems after the United States made an anti-dumping ruling on Chinese-made TV sets.
The US Commerce Department on Monday announced in a preliminary ruling anti-dumping duties of 27.94 to 78.45 percent on imported TVs from China.
The rate is the dumping margin based on the comparison of real prices and normal prices.
In the same ruling, however, the department dismissed a dumping complaint against a Malaysian television set exporter.
The department said it plans to hand out its final ruling on April 12 next year.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce, showing great concern over the decision, said the ruling was not based on facts.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said yesterday that the trade disputes should be properly tackled through equal consultation so as to ensure the sound development of the bilateral ties.
And the official from the Bureau of Fair Trade for Import and Export of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that Chinese TV makers imported raw materials from Japan and United States and then exported the TV sets back to United States, in which they earn the processing fees.
"The high dumping margin ruled by United States leads to a conclusion that these raw material providers firstly dumped their products into China,'' the official said.
It is also unreasonable that the United States choose India as the surrogate country, despite the fact China's TV industry has a high degree of competition and is in a full market economy.
By defining China as a non-market economy, US and EU anti-dumping rules use production costs in a surrogate country, where material and labour costs are much higher than in China, to calculate the normal value of Chinese exports.
The official noted the United States has filed seven anti-dumping cases with China this year, involving a value of US$1.6 billion, which affected normal US-China trade.
Another official from the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said the Chamber will organize TV makers to negotiate the dumping margins with the United States.
"The method of calculation is different from that in previous cases. We find some problems in it,'' the official said.
He said the Chamber will submit the arguments after a thorough study with local TV makers.
The ruling on Monday is preliminary and there are many more steps before the final ruling, the official said.
"In the process, we will make efforts for a better result,'' he said.
Li Yong, general manager of the Overseas Trading Co under the Xiamen Overseas Chinese Electronic Co Ltd (Xoceco), one of China's largest TV makers, said the ruling is unfair.
"But the ruling was expected, since we know it has turned into a political issue as the US elections are coming,'' Li said.
Li expected the US officials will change their approach when they conduct on-the-spot checks in China and said his company is well prepared for it.
The TV ruling is the latest US move to create trade skirmishes with China to help boost President Bush's re-election chances.
The US Commerce Department claimed last Saturday that two small US firms were harmed by China's sales of pipe fittings at below-market prices, which pave the way for the department to finalize duties averaged at about 11 percent.
It also decided last Tuesday to impose safeguard measures on Chinese imports of knitted fabric, dressing gowns and bras.
(China Daily November 26, 2003)