China assails U.S. trade probe

Associated Press December 18, 2003

China assails U.S. trade probe
 It launches one of its own into imports of a chemical from America, 3 allies  (*hydrazine

SHANGHAI, China - China criticized yesterday a U.S. antidumping probe of its furniture exports and said it was launching its own investigation of imports from the United States and elsewhere of a chemical used in water treatment.
The moves by Beijing come amid a series of U.S. actions to restrict Chinese imports.

The U.S. investigation of Chinese furniture trade would "definitely exert a negative impact" on trade relations, the China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement on its Web site.

Antidumping probes are generally aimed at determining if a country is selling a product outside its borders at prices below the cost of making them in hopes of capturing market share.

Chong Quan, a Commerce Ministry spokesman, said the probe violates U.S. law and World Trade Organization rules. The investigation is the biggest antidumping probe ever conducted by Washington into Chinese imports and could affect trade worth $1 billion a year.

"It is hoped that the United States could face up to the simple fact of China's development of a market economy," Chong said in a statement.

The Chinese investigation will cover imports of the chemical hydrazine hydrate from the United States, Japan, South Korea and France, said the ministry Web site.

The ministry did not explain its decision to investigate imports of hydrazine hydrate, a colorless liquid used to make medicines, dyes, farm chemicals and other products.

Washington has angered Beijing by imposing quotas on
Chinese textiles and threatened antidumping duties on Chinese-made television sets.

On Monday, a U.S. trade panel urged President Bush to impose a quota on imports of
pipe fittings, with 50 percent tariffs levied on imports above that level. The panel ruled that rising imports of the pipe fittings were disrupting U.S. suppliers.

The United States bought about 25,000 tons of pipe fittings from China last year, and the tariff would have applied to about 11,000 tons of that.

December 13, 2003; Washington Post Foreign Service

China Assails U.S. For Launching Dumping Inquiry
Agency to Check Bedroom-Set Imports
By Peter S. Goodman

SHANGHAI, Dec. 12 -- China on Friday sharply criticized the Bush administration's decision to consider imposing protective tariffs on imports of Chinese
bedroom furniture, assailing the investigation as a new front in an escalating trade dispute between the two countries.

"We strongly protest the U.S.'s decision to proceed with the probe," said Chong Quan, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce, in a written statement, asserting that the U.S. action breaks the rules of the World Trade Organization.

China's admonition came in reaction to the U.S. Commerce Department's decision to open an investigation into the sales of about $1 billion worth of Chinese bedroom sets in the United States, following complaints from American producers that these goods are being sold at below fair market prices -- a practice known as dumping. In petitions, U.S. furniture manufacturers have asserted that they have been unfairly harmed by a surge of such goods.

The furniture spat comes amid continuing signs that trade may intensify as a political issue in the months before next year's presidential election in the United States. On Friday, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit climbed in October to a record high of $41.8 billion while running at an annual rate of more than $490 billion -- far larger than last year's record trade deficit of $418 billion.

At the center of the tension sits China, whose trade surplus with the United States is expected to swell beyond $120 billion for the year. The Bush administration has put much of the blame for the loss of some 2.8 million American manufacturing jobs on China.

Beijing argues that it is being unfairly accused, noting that its trade with the rest of the world is largely balanced. It has in recent weeks announced a series of high-profile purchases of American goods, including airplanes and agricultural products, in a bid to trim its trade surplus with the United States.

The Commerce Department's decision to investigate bedroom-set imports came only hours after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao wrapped up his first visit to the United States. Wen has sought to undercut notions that China's economic ascendance constitutes a threat to the United States, portraying it instead as an enormous opportunity -- the addition of a rapidly developing country of 1.3 billion people to the global marketplace. China and the United States formally agreed to establish a high-level team to try to iron out trade conflicts.

The trade battle took shape earlier this year as the Bush administration demanded that China allow its now-fixed currency, the yuan, to trade freely, asserting that cheap Chinese money gives its exports an unfair price advantage. That talk has mostly cooled after Beijing's rebuff of a series of high-level U.S. envoys. Since then, dumping complaints have emerged as the primary battleground.

Last month, the Commerce Department imposed
protective tariffs against about $450 million of Chinese textiles and garments, then announced provisional protections against Chinese-made televisions. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman called the bedroom furniture probe "the biggest anti-dumping case China has faced so far."

Bush administration officials have argued that China subsidizes the production of low-cost products to keep its workers employed, resulting in a glut of low-priced Chinese goods reaching American shelves. But some trade experts argue that the process by which dumping claims are investigated is unfairly tilted toward domestic producers. In this case, the Chinese manufacturers must now persuade the Commerce Department that they are not dumping or face protective measures. Critics say Commerce is hardly an impartial judge, asserting that the process is guided less by the merits than by political expedience.

"The global anti-dumping regime is a concoction of protectionists, and generally charges of dumping are bogus," said Scott Kennedy, a professor of political science at Indiana University in Bloomington who specializes in trade politics. He said the basic problem is the overly broad definition of dumping -- selling overseas at a lower price than in one's home market, something he said a company could do for many reasons, such as seeking to gain market share.

Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans defended the dumping regime during an interview this fall.

"It is a very effective law for us to have as we try to have a level playing field for the benefit of Americans," Evans said.





Morgan Stanley ウィークリー・インターナショナル・ブリーフィング  12.08.2003



貿易へのインパクト:極めて小幅 輸入制限の対象となる中国製繊維製品の対米輸出は激増しているが、それは中国にとっては高額な輸出品目ではなく、年初以降9ヵ月間の輸出額は僅か$533mnに過ぎない。米国の今回の輸入制限措置が影響を及ぼしても、それは中国の対米繊維輸出全体の5%にも満たないだろう。

中国情勢 2003/11/25






中国製テレビ4社にダンピング特別調査 米商務省