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US, China meet about subsidy dispute

Keywords: Tags  steel, non-market economies, China, countervailing, dumping, Obama, Commerce, World Trade Organization Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — The United States and China held consultations in Geneva Monday concerning a dispute over the imposition of subsidy duties on non-market economies.

The issue dates back to March of this year, when President Obama signed legislation giving the U.S. Department of Commerce power to apply both dumping and subsidy remedies to non-market economies such as China (, March 13).

Critics say that imposing both duties results in inflated margins because the remedies are calculated twice—a practice known as "double-counting."

Members of the domestic steel and aluminum industries strongly supported the bill due to the high number of trade cases involving China in which both anti-dumping and countervailing duties apply.

According to a notice dated Nov. 5 on the website of China’s Ministry of Commerce, the two parties met and exchanged views on the issues. The notice said that the Chinese government will decide whether to "continue the case" based on the results of the consultations.

"The U.S. side of this approach to Chinese enterprises in an uncertain legal environment is in violation of the WTO transparency rules and process," the notice added.

China first challenged the U.S. government at the World Trade Organization in September, including a list of products affected which included steel pipe, aluminum extrusions and galvanized steel wire (, Sept. 21).

A WTO spokesman told AMM that discussions between governments are private and no details would be released.

A U.S. Trade Representative spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

Under WTO laws, if both governments cannot come to a compromise, China can request that a dispute settlement body be formed.

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