U.S. decision to levy hefty duty on Chinese aluminum foil 'groundless': MOFCOM

Updated 2017-08-10 17:03:00 Global Times

U.S. investigation agencies have failed to acknowledge the active cooperation coming from the Chinese government and enterprises and have "groundlessly" labeled Chinese aluminum manufactures and banks as "public institutions" that offer subsidies to domestic exporters, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday in a statement posted on its official WeChat account.

The comment comes after the U.S. Commerce Department announced Tuesday (U.S. time) that it made a preliminary finding that imports of aluminum foil from China are subsidized and would impose countervailing duties ranging from 16.56 percent to 80.97 percent.

The labeling of Chinese aluminum and steam coal producers as "public institutions" that "provide subsidies" to downstream firms is ''baseless,'' Wang Hejun, head of the trade remedy and investigation bureau of the MOFCOM, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Also, the accusations that Chinese commercial banks are public institutions that offer subsidies to domestic firms in the form of loans "are not respecting of the fact that domestic banks have been commercialized," Wang was quoted as saying, noting that the claimed hefty subsidies are also calculated using "unreasonable foreign benchmark interest rates."

In terms of export buyer's credit, the U.S. Commerce Department without preliminary evidence is asking the Chinese government and companies involved to demonstrate that they have not used the credit investigated, which is in fact transferring the burden of proof to the Chinese side, said the statement.

Therefore, China will "pay high attention" to the recent anti-dumping and anti-subsidizing investigations the U.S. launched on aluminum foil, as the two investigations could largely influence the trade of aluminum foil and potentially benefit the industry in the U.S., Wang noted in the statement.

Wang also urged the U.S. to rule the case in a cautious and just way to avoid causing damage to China-U.S. economic and trade relations.

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