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China Imposing Retaliatory Tariffs on Steel - 2002-05-22


China is putting new tariffs on some imports to retaliate for American tariffs that have hurt Chinese exporters. Beijing says it will place tariffs on some steel imports and threatens to cancel planned tariff cuts on other items. China's official press says the new duties are temporary and go into effect Friday.

In March, the United States imposed tariffs of up to 30 percent on steel imports to protect the struggling American steel industry. Chinese officials complain that the U.S. tariffs have cost China's steel manufacturers more than $1 billion.

While the tariff dispute was sparked by U.S. action, the Chinese duties affect products from other nations as well. Beijing fears that steel once bound for the U-S market might flood into China.

Chinese officials also are critical of new U.S. legislation they say gives billions of dollars in subsidies to American farmers. China says the new subsidies go against Washington's commitment to liberalized trade, and will hurt the World Trade Organization's current round of talks aimed at easing obstacles to freer farm trade.

A number of nations have asked the WTO to examine the U.S. actions, but the process could take more than a year to resolve.

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