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April 20, 2018

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No move yet on US-China talks

CHINA’S Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that there have not been any bilateral talks over trade frictions between China and the United States.

The US submitted a file to the World Trade Organization on Tuesday claiming that it is willing to negotiate over the trade dispute with China.

The US move follows WTO procedures, which order members to respond to a request for settlement from another member within 10 days, said Gao Feng, spokesman for the Chinese ministry.

He reiterated that US Section 232 and Section 301 measures to slap tariffs on Chinese products seriously violate WTO rules.

China yesterday announced that it will impose provisional anti-dumping measures on chlorobutyl rubber imported from the United States, the European Union and Singapore.

A preliminary ruling by the ministry found that firms from these countries had dumped chlorobutyl rubber on the Chinese market, and such imports had caused substantial damage to the domestic industry.

Starting today, importers of the product will have to pay deposits with Chinese customs calculated based on a rate ranging from 26 to 66.5 percent.

The US commerce department launched anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures against Chinese steel wheels on Wednesday and decided that general-purpose aluminum alloy plates from China received government subsidies.

“Steel products have become a major target of US trade remedy measures, which account for over half the country’s total trade remedy measures,” Gao said. “Overuse of trade remedy measures in certain sectors will not sustain booming industrial growth, and China hopes the US will return to the right track of win-win cooperation to help promote global trade and nurture domestic industries.”

A trade war will not protect American workers and will hurt US consumers and global growth, Gao added yesterday.

China does not want escalating trade frictions with the US, but is well prepared to take countermeasures to any further American moves in the wrong direction.

Meanwhile, China’s foreign trade outlook remains positive despite seasonal fluctuations and uncertainty arising from protectionism, the commerce ministry said yesterday.

Gao said the trade deficit recorded last month was mainly due to the Spring Festival, which had affected production and exports.

China posted a trade deficit of 29.78 billion yuan (US$4.7 billion) in March, the first monthly deficit since February 2017.

Growing global demand amid a recovering world economy, as well as China’s sound economic fundamentals and supply-side structural reforms, will support foreign trade, Gao said.



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