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Chinese trade: Beijing hits back at US and EU with plastics investigation

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Solar panels are among the Chinese products causing tensions with Washington and Brussels

  • Author, Peter Hoskins
  • Role, Economic journalist

China has launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of a widely used plastic from the US, EU, Taiwan and Japan.

The Commerce Department’s announcement that imports of polyoxymethylene copolymers, used in electronics and automobiles, is a sign that China will retaliate in its trade disputes with the United States and Europe.

The announcement comes as trade disputes between China and the US and EU have deepened in recent months.

The new U.S. measures also expanded border taxes imposed on Chinese goods under the Trump administration.

In response, China’s Commerce Ministry said the new measures would “severely affect the atmosphere of bilateral cooperation” and criticized what it called the politicization of economic issues.

Ahead of the highly anticipated White House announcement, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said it would “take all necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.”

Separately, on Monday, China sanctioned three US defense companies over their arms sales to Taiwan, state media said.

The announcement that General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security are excluded from “import and export” activities in China comes as the self-ruled island ushers in a new president.

Senior executives of the three companies are barred from entering, working or living in China, the Commerce Ministry said.

Meanwhile, Europe has launched a series of investigations into Chinese imports.

On Friday, the EU announced it would open an investigation into Chinese tinplate steel.

And last month, Brussels announced it was investigating two Chinese solar panel makers, which it said benefit from government subsidies.

The European Commission (EC), which oversees EU trade policies, has also given itself until July 4 to decide whether to impose measures against imports of electric vehicles made in China.

News Source : www.bbc.com
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