(Yicai Global) March 7 -- China's commerce ministry said America's ruling that imported Chinese steel products caused damage to the US domestic industry was not based on facts, and has urged the trade commission to make an objective, impartial decision to avoid marring trade and economic relations between the countries.
Last week, the United States International Trade Commission said that imported stainless steel sheets and strips and carbon steel plates had substantially affected the home industry and that US Customs and Border Protection would levy anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on such products.
The problems facing America's steel companies are mainly due to their obsolete equipment, said Wang Hejun, director of the trade remedy and investigation bureau under China's Ministry of Commerce. This resulted in low yield and affected profits, but has no connection to products imported from China, he added.
During the investigation, US demand for the products actually increased, Wang said, adding that it was Chinese imports that met the growth in demand. China also imports American steel products, he continued, saying products from each country were designed to fulfil different purposes. Wang believes the US ruling did not factor in all Chinese evidence.
The US Department of Commerce previously made a final ruling to impose an anti-dumping duty at 63.86 percent and anti-subsidy duties between 75.6 and 190.71 percent on China's stainless steel sheets and strips, and a 68.27 percent anti-dumping and 251 percent anti-subsidy duty on its carbon steel plates.
The USITC will make its final decision on the damaged US makers suffered around March 20.
If the trade commission confirms that US manufacturers suffered harm, the duties will stay in place for five years. Many steelmakers, including AK Steel, Allegheny Ludlum, North American Stainless and Outokumpu Stainless USA, filed complaints about the rates. The value of stainless steel imported from China in 2015 is estimated at USD302 million.
In July, the US commerce department released a preliminary ruling on the investigation against stainless steel products. Per the ruling, a 57.3 subsidy rate was set for Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel Co., which was mandated to respond to the claim, and other Chinese companies. Two other firms required to reply, Ningbo Baoxin Stainless Steel Co. and Daming International Import and Export Co., did not. They were subjected to a 193.92 percent rate.