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US slaps import duties on Chinese pipes

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The United States has slapped trade sanctions on a billion dollars worth of Chinese pipes, the Commerce Department said Friday just days before Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Washington.

The department said it had made its “final determination” in the antidumping duty investigation on imports of tubes from China used in oil and gas wells.

China has sold the goods in the United States at 29.94 percent to 99.14 percent less than fair value, the department said in a statement.

“As a result of this final determination, Commerce will instruct US Customs and Border Protection to collect a cash deposit or bond equal to the weighted-average dumping margins,” it said.

The announcement came before Hu attended a high-profile nuclear security summit hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington, and amid tension over trade imbalances between the two economic superpowers.

But a US official said the move was not linked to Hu’s visit, and the timing was determined by US trade statutes.

The tubular goods are either carbon or alloy tubular steel products used in oil and gas wells.

In 2009, imports of those products from China were valued at an estimated 1.1 billion dollars, the department said.

Tianjin Pipe International Economic and Trading Corp. received a final dumping rate of 29.94 percent, as did 37 other Chinese respondents.

All other Chinese exporters, including Jiangsu Changbao Steel Tube Co., are subject to the final dumping rate of 99.14 percent.

In addition to the Commerce Department, the US petitioners for the investigation included Maverick Tube Corp, United States Steel Corp. and a major industry union.

The US International Trade Commission is scheduled to issue its final determination of injury in the case on or before May 24.

Source: AFP

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