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US probe likely to 'harm' trade ties

On Tuesday, the EU slapped five-year duties of up to 39.2 percent on steel pipe imports from China.

A US government probe that could lead to anti-dumping levies of nearly 100 percent on imports of Chinese steel pipes could escalate trade disputes between the two countries, industry analysts said yesterday.

Rising trade protectionism, in the name of anti-dumping and countervailing measures, would ultimately derail economic recovery, they said.

The US Commerce Department launched an investigation on Wednesday on whether to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of seamless steel pipes from China.

The decision came one day after the European Union announced that it would slap five-year duties of up to 39.2 percent on steel pipe imports from China citing material injury or threat to local producers from rising Chinese imports.

The US case involves steel pipes used for moving natural gas, water, steam and other liquids. The US commerce department said it accepted a petition asking for the probe from the US Steel Corp, V&M Star LP, TMK IPSCO and the United Steelworkers union. It said imports of the product from China rose nearly 132 percent by volume from 2006 to 2008, Reuters reported.

The US petitioners requested a 98.37-percent anti-dumping duty against the Chinese imports and additional countervailing duties to offset alleged Chinese government subsidies. The US International Trade Commission is scheduled to make its preliminary injury determination at the beginning of next month.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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