Record trade retaliations have hit China
CHINA was hit with a record number of retaliatory trade measures last year, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday, with countries around the world claiming it had flooded global markets with cheap steel and other products.
“Trade disputes are becoming increasingly politicised, measures are increasingly extreme and final tariff rates are relatively high,” said ministry spokesman Sun Jiwen at a regular briefing, singling out measures taken against China’s steel, solar panel, ceramics and tyre industries.
Chinese policymakers are wary of US president-elect Donald Trump’s protectionist stance on global trade, as he has promised a hard line against China, threatening to raise tariffs on its exports to the US once he takes office on January 20.
Sun said that in 2016, 27 countries and regions took out 119 trade remedies against China, with the relevant cases totalling $14.34 billion (R196.35bn), up 76 percent from the previous year.
Twenty-one countries and regions took 49 remedies against Chinese steel, costing $7.90bn, up 63.1 percent from 2015.
Trade remedies are trade policy tools that allow governments to take remedial action against imports which are hurting domestic industries.
They include anti-dumping actions, countervailing duties and emergency measures to safeguard industries.
The world’s second-largest economy is frequently blamed for dumping cheaper goods on world markets because of subsidies.
China plans to increase its targets for capacity cuts in steel and coal this year, while extending its campaign against overcapacity in other industries such as cement and glass, state media reported in December.