China's Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday announced the launch of anti-dumping investigations into imported hydrogenated butyl rubber from the United Sates, the European Union and Singapore.
The request for anti-dumping measures was formally submitted to the Ministry by Zhejiang Cenway New Materials Co., Ltd. and Panjin Heyun New Materials Co., Ltd. on August 14, 2017, according to a statement posted on the Ministry's website.
The two companies said that producers from the three regions have been dumping butyl rubber through unfair pricing, hurting margins and sales in China's domestic industry.
The ministry will hold a year-long investigation, beginning from Wednesday. The probe will look at products imported between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017.
The move comes amid heightened trade tensions between China and the U.S. over products including steel and aluminium foil. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to use trade policies to more aggressively protect American economic interests.
Butyl rubber has high impermeability to gases and high resistance to heat, making it suitable for a variety of rubber products, such as tire inner tubes and protective clothing.
U.S. giant ExxonMobil, which was formerly headed by current U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is the world's largest producer of butyl rubber.
Zhejiang Cenway earlier this year announced expansion plans to boost capacity by 150 kilotons per annum by 2018 as part of a 200-million-euro (239 million U.S. dollars) project, according to the European Rubber Journal.