China hits USA sorghum with anti-dumping measure

Environmental activists of BUND protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with an eight metre high inflatable Trojan Horse in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Environmental activists of BUND protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with an eight metre high inflatable Trojan Horse in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

China announced on Tuesday (April 17) temporary anti-dumping measures on USA sorghum, potentially hitting United States growers and exacerbating the brewing trade war between Beijing and Washington.

The ministry said it ordered importers to pay Chinese customs a deposit amounting to 178.6 percent of the value of imported sorghum.

It said the investigation had found Chinese imports of sorghum had increased 14-fold in the five years from 2013 even as the price for the commodity fell 31 percent.

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China announced Tuesday a timeline to open up its manufacturing sector including scrapping ownership limits for foreign automakers, shipbuilders and aircraft firms - addressing a contentious issue in its trade dispute with the United States.

Beijing launched the sorghum investigation on February 4 in what some businesspeople saw as a warning shot after President Donald Trump hiked tariffs on Chinese-made washing machines and solar modules. Trump complained Beijing was hampering trade by charging a 25 percent import duty on most cars while the USA charges less than 3 percent.

China had hit back with tariffs on wide variety of agricultural products such as soybeans, corn, beef, orange juice and tobacco which were expected to hit American farmers.

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The ministry said results of a parallel anti-subsidy investigation of USA sorghum would be released later.

Wang Hejun, head of the ministry's trade remedy and investigation bureau, said the decision was in accordance with Chinese laws and WTO rules and was aimed at correcting unfair practices to maintain a healthy trade order. That makes it a sizeable export-though well below soybeans, more than $12 billion of which were sent to China a year ago. "China is willing to expand cooperation with the USA side to reduce disagreements in the trade field", Wang said. The ruling for anti-subsidy probe will be released later as the two probes involve different procedures and entities, Wang said. It was announced hours after Washington banned American firms from selling parts to Chinese telecoms giant ZTE for seven years.

The GDP growth rate has stayed within the range of 6.7 percent to 6.9 percent for 11 quarters, with the jobless rate and inflation remaining stable, he said.

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This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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