WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday recommended raising import duties on Chinese-made aluminum foil it said is being sold at unfairly low prices due to improper subsidies to producers.
The ruling was praised by the Aluminum Association, a trade group that pressed the case and said cheap imports were threatening thousands of jobs.
Beijing faces complaints from the United States, European Union and other trading partners that a flood of Chinese aluminum, steel and other exports are being sold at unfairly low prices, threatening jobs abroad.
The Commerce Department said it concluded Chinese exporters were selling aluminum foil at 49 to 106 percent below fair value and were receiving unfair subsidies of 17 to 81 percent of the goods’ value.
Importers will have to post cash bonds to pay potentially higher duties while the recommendation goes to the U.S. International Trade Commission for a final decision, said a Commerce statement.
China’s Ministry of Commerce complained Washington was harming Chinese exporters and said Beijing was ready to take unspecified “necessary measures” to defend its interests.
Beijing has accused Trump’s government of disrupting global trade regulation by taking action under U.S. law instead of through the World Trade Organization.
“China will take necessary measures to defend its interests in response to the wrong practice of the United States,” said a Commerce Ministry official, Wang Hejun, in a statement.
The Trump administration earlier raised duties on Chinese-made washing machines, solar modules and some aluminum and steel products to offset what it said were improper subsidies.
The American Chamber of Commerce in China says Chinese officials have warned of possible unspecified retaliation if Washington took excessive steps in trade disputes.