The U. S. Department of Commerce proposes to tax imports of Chinese aluminum foil heavily. A decision on steel is expected before mid-April.
Formerly assistant to the US Trade Representative for Asian markets in the 2000s, Wendy Culter warned: “We will see more trade action taken against some trading partners in the coming weeks. The announcement made two weeks ago on the protection of imports of washing machines and solar panels is just the beginning of a series of announcements to come.”
On Tuesday, the U. S. Department of Commerce recommended the introduction of high taxes on Chinese imports of aluminum foil. For dumping reasons, customs duties ranging from 49% to 106% are mentioned. These tariffs would be doubled by anti-subsidy taxes ranging from 17% to 81%, depending on the products. It will be up to the U. S. International Trade Commission, in a vote on March 15, to endorse these recommendations.
China will take the necessary steps to defend its legitimate rights.
The Chinese answer didn’t take long.” The United States failed to comply with WTO rules and seriously damaged the interests of Chinese exporters of aluminum foil. China is highly dissatisfied with this,” said Wang Hejun, head of China’s Trade Inquiries and Remedies Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
Endangered National Security
In April 2017, its trade secretary Wilbur Ross initiated an investigation to determine whether steel imports posed a threat to U. S. national security. The final report, presented in mid-January, clearly identified a threat. The US steel industry may find it difficult to respond to a crisis similar to that of the Second World War. Foreign suppliers account for one-third of U. S. steel demand, while 28% of domestic capacity is unused.
In aluminum, 91% of demand is imported, and 61% of US foundry capacity is untapped.
Commerce’s report proposes three scenarios for introducing taxes, quotas or a mixture of the two on imports of aluminum and steel. The Chair has until April 11 to rule on steel and April 19 on aluminum.
If U. S. President Donald Trump hits hard, we’ll take countermeasures.
It remains to be seen who will be targeted: China alone or other countries exporting their steel and aluminum to the United States. In Sofia, at an informal meeting of EU trade ministers on Tuesday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström was very clear.
One thing’s for sure: the pressure is rising. New dumping and subsidy investigations increased by 60% during Donald Trump’s first year in office.
And in 2017, the United States again posted a deficit in trade in 2017 of 566 billion dollars. A record since 2008 due to the sharp rise in imports. China and Mexico, among others. An unacceptable trend for the president.