China said proposed US tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products are groundless and that it reserves the right to retaliate if they are imposed.
The US recommendations, unveiled by the US Department of Commerce on Friday, are not consistent with the facts, Wang Hejun (王賀軍), chief of the trade remedy and investigation bureau at China’s Ministry of Commerce, said in a statement posted on its Web site.
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the US might impose quotas on imports of aluminum and steel, including a tariff of at least 24 percent on steel imports from all countries.
While it is the strongest indication yet that US President Donald Trump’s administration is ready to take action on its protectionist agenda, Ross said “it wouldn’t surprise us” if the measures were challenged.
The US already has excessive protections on domestic iron and steel products, Wang said.
“If the final decision impacts China’s interests, China will certainly take necessary measures to protect its own rights,” Wang said.
US steel companies and steelworker unions have been pushing Trump to follow through on his promise to protect the industry.
China’s trade partners have complained for years that its industry unfairly benefits from state subsidies and dumps its products at below-market prices.
While China only accounts for about 1 percent of US steel imports, it could challenge US action at the WTO, a process that could take years.
China has long been at the epicenter of global overproduction of steel, but the trade dynamics are shifting as aluminum exports take center stage.
Last month, China boosted its shipments of the lightweight metal for a third month, as domestic supplies spill overseas, while steel cargoes shrank to the lowest in nearly five years as strong domestic growth mops up production and environmental curbs trim capacity.
Rather than tariffs on all imports, Trump may opt for a more “surgical” approach, Ross said at a meeting with lawmakers this week.
The department may invoke a seldom-used section of the 1962 Trade Act, which allows the president to impose tariffs without congressional approval.
Japan views this as more of a security issue, said Yasuji Komiyama, director of the metal industries division at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Komiyama said steel and aluminum shipped to the US do not pose any threats to US security.
“This is an issue within the US government. Nothing has been decided and therefore the Japanese government doesn’t have any further comment,” he said.
Kobe Steel said there could be ramifications.
“We need to look more closely into this, but if these measures are enacted, it would be difficult for the industry to avoid any impact,” a company official said.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters