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China probes US sorghum subsidies

2018/2/7 10:49:03   source:CGTN

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce recently launched an anti-dumping and countervailing investigation into sorghum imports from the US to China.

The head of the ministry's Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau, Wang Hejun, said this is a normal case of trade remedy investigations. China imported more than five billion tones of grain sorghum, most of which was from the US.

Beijing says the investigation is a necessary move to protect Chinese farmers’ rights. The statement says preliminary evidence and information found that the US government had subsidized its sorghum exports and that the volume of US sorghum exported to China had increased substantially since 2013. The falling prices impact China’s local producers.

/CGTN

The figures from the ministry of commerce show that from 2013 to 2017, the price of US sorghum exports to China fell from 290 dollars per ton to less than 200 dollars.

/CGTN

The volume has multiplied over 20 times, leading its market share in China to increase to almost 60 percent from 8 percent.

/CGTN

The US government subsidies have depressed prices for Chinese growers, which fell over 150 US dollars per ton in the past five years. It has affected China’s grain sorghum sector.

The ministry said it ordered the investigation because the local industry included many small growers who were unable to prepare the necessary documentation. The inquiry should be completed by February 4, 2018, but can be extended until August 4.

There is some trade friction between China and the US recently. About two weeks ago, the US decided to impose safeguard tariffs on global imports of solar products and sizeable residential washing machines.

Some people view China’s investigations into the US exported sorghum as retaliation for America’s investigations into the Chinese products. But the Ministry of Commerce says this is a routine trade remedy investigation. And it was launched according to the relevant laws of China and World Trade Organization rules.

A reporter recently asked Wang, whether there will be a trade war between the two countries.

“We are concerned about a trade war, and we don’t want to see one between China and the US. It will not only negatively affect the two countries’ economies, but also the global economy. As the trade volume between the two countries is large, trade friction in some sectors is inevitable. But it is vital to manage these, and not let them affect the economic and trade cooperation," Wang replied.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has reiterated the importance of collaboration between the two countries on several occasions.

The ministry also pointed out that the two countries are important trading partners, and win-win cooperation is the nature of their bilateral economic and trade relations. It said China would like to handle trade friction through dialogue, based upon equality, mutual respect, and mutual benefit.

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