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Trade rows see record measures levied
From:Agencies  |  2017-01-06 11:16

China was hit with a record number of retaliatory trade measures last year, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday, with countries claiming it had flooded global markets with cheap steel and other products.

“Trade disputes are becoming increasingly politicized, 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 tire industries.

Chinese policymakers are wary of US President-elect Donald Trump’s protectionist stance on global trade, as he has threatened to raise tariffs on its exports to the US once he takes office on January 20.

Sun said that last year, 27 countries and regions took out 119 trade remedies against China, with the relevant cases totalling US$14.34 billion, up 76 percent from the previous year.

Twenty-one countries and regions took 49 remedies against Chinese steel, costing US$7.90 billion, 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.

China is frequently blamed for dumping cheaper goods on world markets because of subsidies.

China will increase its targets for capacity cuts in steel and coal in 2017, while extending its campaign against overcapacity in industries such as cement and glass, state media reported in December.