Thirty-nine anti-dumping investigations against imported goods have been launched by China since its first in 1997, a Ministry of Commerce official told Xinhua News Agency on Monday.
Wang Qinhua, director of the ministry's Bureau of Industry Injury Investigation, said 22 of them have been concluded, all of which have resulted in anti-dumping taxes being imposed on foreign goods.
Wang said the measures have usually resulted in levels of the imported products falling and prices returning to reasonable levels.
The investigations have involved 38 products in five sectors -- chemicals, steel, light industry, textiles and electronics -- and more than 120 domestic companies in 23 provinces and cities have taken part.
Over two-thirds of the cases were in the chemicals industry, and the first 30 involved a total sum of US$6 billion.
The biggest case, against cold rolled steel products from Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Taiwan, involved US$1.7 billion. After an 18-month investigation, the ministry said in September 2003 that imports had been dumped onto the Chinese market at low prices, and it introduced a five-year anti-dumping tax on these goods.
Wang said that since China entered its post-WTO transition period on January 1 it will face more trade disputes, and many major industries will be affected.
The auto industry had quotas on imported automobiles until 2005. In 2006, the tariff for automobiles will be reduced to 25 percent and that for spare parts to an average of 10 percent. By the end of this year, foreign companies will be able to independently run courier and freight forwarding services and foreign banks granted increased access. By 2007, all restrictions on foreign service suppliers will be removed.
With further opening-up of the domestic market, industries are sure to struggle against greater pressure and challenges from foreign competitors. Ministry officials also warned that, as more countries grant China market economy status, anti-subsidy charges against Chinese exports are sure to increase.
According to Wang, WTO members dispute whether anti-subsidy charges can apply to non-market economy countries. However, since the first anti-subsidy investigation of Chinese goods by Canada last year, the US and the EU have both used domestic law to impose anti-subsidy charges against non-market economy countries. On July 27, the US House of Representatives passed the US Trade Rights Enforcement Act aimed at imposing an anti-subsidy tax on Chinese goods.
These kinds of measures have become a significant challenge for both Chinese enterprises and the government, said Wang.
(China.org.cn by Wind Gu, August 10, 2005)