The US-China Trade War Is Here

Chinese Steel Overcapacity

China has slapped protective tariffs on American and Russian steel imports.

This is truly a striking development given that its usually China who is accused of dumping steel in other nations.

It’s also hard to imagine how American and Russian steel could have a lower cost-basis than local Chinese products given their higher transportation and labour costs.

XInhua: China said Thursday investigations showed the United States and Russia had dumped oriented electrical steel on the Chinese market, and the United States had subsidized the exports.

The dumping and subsidies have caused substantial damage to the domestic industry, and China will charge deposits on the imports from the two economies from Friday, according to an initial ruling issued by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

The amount of the deposit paid at customs would be decided by the dumping margins of different producers. The dumping margins ranged from 10.7 per cent to 25 per cent by the US companies, and 4.6 per cent to 25 per cent by the Russian companies.

China launched the anti-dumping probes into imports of the oriented electrical steel from the US and Russia, and countervailing investigations into the imports from the United States on June 1.

China’s anti-dumping tariffs say three things — 1) the global steel market is pretty dismal given that American steel producers can’t find closer demand to take their products. 2) the Chinese steel glut may have reached crisis levels given this act of protectionism. 3) Protectionism is hotting up. After America’s tariffs on Chinese steel earlier this year, China has now returned the favour.

Bloomberg: China is striking back after the U.S., the European Union and other countries slapped tariffs and filed complaints about Chinese steel and commodity products to the World Trade organisation this year. U.S. and Russia last year exported a combined $602 million of the targeted steel products to China, according to Mysteel Research Institute.

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