China imposes anti-dumping measure amid trade tensions

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2016, file photo, paramilitary police patrol near a cargo ship at a port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province. China imposed measures Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, against importers of a U.S. industrial chemical, requiring them to post deposits in preparation for possible anti-dumping duties amid rising trade tension with Washington. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

BEIJING — China told importers of a U.S. industrial chemical to start posting deposits Tuesday in preparation for possible anti-dumping duties amid rising trade tension with Washington.

A preliminary ruling by the Ministry of Commerce said styrene monomer from the United States, South Korea and Taiwan is being sold at prices 5 to 10.7 percent below the proper level. The chemical is widely used to make packaging and consumer products.

Importers must now pay cash deposits while the ministry completes its investigation.

The ministry said in its ruling the Chinese styrene industry has been "substantially damaged" by dumping, which occurs when manufacturers sell a product to another country at unusually low prices.

The decision follows U.S. President Donald Trump's approval last month of higher tariffs on Chinese-made solar equipment and washing machines that Washington said were sold at unfairly low costs. The Trump administration is also due to announce results of a probe into whether Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology, which could lead to further penalties.

Beijing's steady accumulation of multibillion-dollar trade surpluses with the U.S. — which widened January to $21.9 billion — has prompted demands for import controls.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have accused Trump of threatening the global trade regulation system by taking action under U.S. law instead of through the World Trade Organization. Beijing has filed a challenge in the WTO against Washington's latest trade measures.

It also launched an anti-dumping investigation of U.S. sorghum exports earlier this month.

Styrene monomer figures largely in foam and plastic packaging, as well as low-cost consumer products, which are central to China's booming e-commerce industry.

People also read these

Asian stocks markets retreat after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Most Asian stock markets have declined in thin trading ahead of the Christmas holiday after Wall...

McDonald's sells China business in deal worth up to $2.1B

Jan 9, 2017

Fast-food giant McDonald's is selling a controlling stake in its China business to a group of...

A look at how Trump might shake things up in Asia

Jan 16, 2017

Donald Trump has offered views on U.S. relations with Asia that could indicate radical shifts in...

Business group: China preparing to retaliate on trade

Jan 18, 2017

An American business group says China is preparing to retaliate if U.S. President-elect Donald...

Global stocks slip amid concern over Trump policies on trade

Jan 23, 2017

Major global stock markets are lower after Donald Trump took office as U.S. president and promised...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com