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China Prepares to Push Back Against Tariffs as USW Celebrates Victory

The Chinese government has reportedly stated it will take action if the newly issued tariffs made by the U.S. Department of Commerce infringe on the country’s trade rights, the China Daily reports.

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The Chinese government has reportedly stated it will take action if the newly issued tariffs made by the U.S. Department of Commerce infringe on the country’s trade rights, the China Daily reports.

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According to the publication, the China Ministry of Commerce’s head of the trade remedy and investigation bureau, Wang Hejun, said the determination is “extremely unfair” and could hurt the country’s interests. He further urged the U.S. to readjust its practices – insinuating that if the U.S. did not, it would not be obeying World Trade Organization rules.

The China Daily further reported that Wang said the U.S. investigation had flaws and was investigated using biased methods.

The U.S. DOC made its final ruling on the countervailing and anti-dumping duties for truck and bus tires manufactured in China earlier this week. The DOC found that there was dumping of tires by Chinese manufacturers and mandatory respondents Prinx Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Co. Ltd. and Double Coin Holding Ltd. were issued a dumping margin of 9%. Non-selected respondents also received a rate of 9% and all other producers/exporters in China that are part of the China-wide entity received a rate of 22.57%. These rates were lower than the rates previously assigned at the preliminary hearing.

The DOC also more than doubled some of its preliminary duties in the countervailing duty investigation. The DOC assigned a final subsidy rate of 38.61% for Double Coin Holdings, a 65.46% rate for Guizhou Tyre Co. and a 52.04% for all other producers/exporters in China.

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Further criticizing the DOC’s findings, Pu Lingchen, a Zhong Lun Law Firm partner in China previously told the China Daily the high tariffs keep Chinese tiremakers from being able to export their products affordable to the U.S., causing the average prices of tires to potentially increase.

On the other hand, the United Steelworkers (USW) are pleased with the outcome. USW has been vocal that they believe certain tires from China have been injuring to the U.S. and its workers.

According to a press release from USW, the organization believes China’s policies have “allowed it to capture an increasing share of the U.S. market, threatening jobs at tire plants across the country” and that “imports of truck and bus tires into the United States totaled more than $1 billion in 2015.”

“This ruling would be a major victory for American rubber workers, their families and their communities if the ITC decides that workers have been ‘injured.’ Every sector of the U.S. tire industry has been under siege from China’s unfair and illegal trade practices,” said USW International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson, who chairs the union’s national rubber and tire bargaining conference.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to make its final injury determinations on March 6. If the commission confirms that imports of truck and bus tires from China materially injure, or threaten material injury, to the U.S. ” the anti-dumping and countervailing duties will be instated.

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A positive confirmation from the ITC could also result in China taking action against the U.S. tariffs, although what exactly that action would be has not been announced.

“We do not expect a trade war between the two sides, but China will take necessary measures if the rights are violated,” Wang told the China Daily.

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