U.S. hits China with im­port tax for dump­ing alu­minum foil

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY S.A. MILLER

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion Tues­day slapped a puni­tive im­port tax on alu­minum foil from China, fol­low­ing a pre­lim­i­nary de­ter­mi­na­tion that the coun­try was dump­ing the prod­uct in the U.S.

The lat­est of Pres­i­dent Trump’s get­tough trade mea­sures, the im­port tax, or coun­ter­vail­ing duty, of 16.56 per­cent to 80.97 per­cent aims to off­set China’s un­fair trade prac­tices.

“The United States is com­mit­ted to free, fair and re­cip­ro­cal trade, and will con­tinue to val­i­date the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to us that brought us to this de­ci­sion,” said Com­merce Sec­re­tary Wil­bur L. Ross Jr. “The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion will not stand idly by as harm­ful trade prac­tices from for­eign na­tions at­tempt to take ad­van­tage of our es­sen­tial in­dus­tries, work­ers and busi­nesses.”

Mr. Ross in­structed U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion to im­me­di­ately be­gin col­lect­ing cash de­posits from im­porters of alu­minum foil from China based on pre­lim­i­nary coun­ter­vail­ing sub­sidy rates.

In 2016 im­ports of alu­minum foil from China were val­ued at an es­ti­mated $389 mil­lion.

Heidi Brock, pres­i­dent and CEO of The Alu­minum As­so­ci­a­tion, said she ap­plauded Mr. Ross’ lead­er­ship in com­bat­ing un­fair trade prac­tices.

“This is an im­por­tant step to be­gin restor­ing a level play­ing field for U.S. alu­minum foil pro­duc­tion, an in­dus­try that sup­ports more than 20,000 di­rect, in­di­rect and in­duced Amer­i­can jobs, and ac­counts for $6.8 bil­lion in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity,” she said.

“U.S. alu­minum foil pro­duc­ers are among the most com­pet­i­tive pro­duc­ers in the world, but they can­not com­pete against prod­ucts that are sub­si­dized by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and sold at un­fairly low prices,” she said.

En­force­ment of U.S. trade law has been a fo­cus of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, fol­low­ing through on Mr. Trump’s cam­paign prom­ise to ne­go­ti­ate bet­ter trade deals and get tough with trade cheaters, es­pe­cially China.

From Jan. 20 through Aug. 8, Com­merce ini­ti­ated 64 an­tidump­ing and coun­ter­vail­ing duty in­ves­ti­ga­tions, a 60 per­cent in­crease over the num­ber ini­ti­ated by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion dur­ing the same seven-month pe­riod last year, and a 40 per­cent in­crease over the num­ber for all of 2016.

The alu­minum foil case in­volved two Chi­nese ex­porters of alu­minum foil, Ding­sheng Alu­minum In­dus­tries Trad­ing Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong and Jiangsu Zhongji Lam­i­na­tion Ma­te­ri­als Co. Ltd., that par­tic­i­pated in the pro­ceed­ings.

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