Mon, Dec 13, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Beijing slams US duties on furniture

AFP , BEIJING

China has blasted as "unfair" a US decision to leave punitive duties in place following accusations that Chinese wooden furniture was "dumped" in the US, state media said yesterday.

"If the information is true, then this decision is unfair to Chinese enterprises because in China, the furniture industry is a typical competition-based industry," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, according to the Bei-jing News.

An official response was not seen on the ministry's Web site.

The spokesman from the ministry's fair trade division cited by Beijing News, was responding to its questions about the US decision on Friday.

A majority of China's furniture companies are foreign-invested and privately owned, the spokesman was quoted as saying.

"These companies completely follow market rules. Their production, sales and prices are all decided by the free market," he said.

He warned that China would adopt unspecified measures to deal with the US move.

The US International Trade Commission's decision leaves in place duties set by the Department of Commerce of up to 198 percent.

Some US furniture makers say the Chinese dumped more than US$1 billion worth of wooden bedroom furniture in the US last year.

The Furniture Retailers of America, however, opposed the duties, saying they would simply boost prices without saving any US jobs.

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