November 13, 2009

TRADE WAR: Sixty Percent Duty on Chinese Copper Pipe Sought

If it's late Friday in Washington, time to slap countervailing duties on Chinese imports. Today's announcement from the quasi-independent federal Internationl Trade Commission says an American industry is damaged by seamless refined copper pipe and tube from China. The products are used in HVAC installations and are made at 12 plants in the USA employing 3,166 workers. Imports come from many countries but China is the number 1 foreign supplier although total imports account for less than a third (28.5%) of America's consumption of the goods. The ITC's ruling was unanimous and allows the Commerce Department to determine anti-dumping duties, reports say an extra 60.5% on Chinese imports. The basis for this determination seems flimsy given the small scale of the domestic industry and the even smaller impact of imports from any one foreign country. It is no surprise that this probe on Chinese imports - the 12th so far this year - comes as data released today shows the USA-China trade gap continues to rise....

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