(Yicai Global) March 9 -- The US will impose levies on imported steel and aluminum products, with the exemption of its neighbors Canada and Mexico. China strongly voiced its opposition to what it calls a protectionist action under the pretext of national security.
US imports of steel and aluminum products are largely civil industry products and do not in any way harm the US national security, said Wang Hejun, head of China's trade remedy bureau, in a statement on the commerce ministry website.
President Trump signed an order on March 8 stating that as imported steel and aluminum products pose a threat to US national security, the country will levy 25-percent and 10-percent tariffs, respectively, on imported steel and aluminum products, though products from Canada and Mexico are temporarily excluded from the measures.
US abuse of the "National Security Exception" clause is destructive to the multilateral trade system represented by the World Trade Organization and will have a severe negative impact on the normal international trade order, Wang said.
He pointed out that US action has been met with strong opposition in many WTO member states such as the EU, Brazil, South Korea, Australia, Turkey and Russia, and these countries expressed they would take strong countermeasures against the move. China has expressed its stance and concerns at multiple levels through multiple channels and will evaluate its loss caused by the measures before taking its own actions to protect its own rightful rights and interests.
The tariffs hurt not only other countries' interests but also its own, Wang said. US lawmakers, industrial organizations, and enterprises have voiced their strong opposition to the measure. China urges the US to respect the authority of the multilateral trade system and cancel the measure as soon as possible.