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Trade Friction Worsens With US Charges on Steel Pipes
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The China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters released a statement Thursday accusing the US of trade protectionism in levying new dumping and subsidy charges against Chinese steel pipe products.

"We hope the US government will deliberate on the sensitive issue, and deny the applications of the US steel pipe makers out of concerns for the long-term development of the sectors in both countries," said China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters in a statement.

The charges were determined after five US welded steel-pipe makers along with the United Steelworkers Union filed an application with the US Commerce Department last Thursday accusing China of undercutting the market by selling steel pipes at subsidized prices. Their application asked the Commerce Department to impose anti-dumping duties of up to 88 percent and to add extra anti-subsidizing charges on steel pipes from China.

The Chinese response stated that charging both anti-dumping and countervailing duties on products from the same country went against US law and WTO rules, calling the move "unfair and discriminatory".

Earlier reports revealed that 18 Chinese steel pipe producers were making a common stand against the US charges, and had appointed John Larose from US law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP's Beijing Office as their attorney.

Chinese makers have stuck to their guns, saying their export business has been shaped by market demand and have denied any dumping or subsidies.

The statement added that trade penalties would not help end the trade frictions, and would in essence be counter-productive for the US steel sector since it would have a negative trickle-down effect on the downstream steel sectors and customers.

China's steel products exports surged by 132 percent year-on-year to 21.3 million tons from January to April with steel pipe exports reaching 2.77 million tons, up 120 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2007)

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