US hits Vietnam with huge duties on steel made with Chinese material

The United States on Tuesday imposed huge duties on some steel imports from Vietnam, claiming that they were being produced with Chinese material already subject to retaliatory sanctions.

The products will be subject to punitive US duties ranging up to 265% of their value, Commerce said in a statement, another sequel to a series of aggressive trade measures taken by the US government. President Donald Trump's administration.

US imports from Vietnam have skyrocketed since the US imposed tariffs on the Chinese product two years ago, indicating that companies were circumventing US tariffs through Vietnam, according to the report. Commerce Department.

The duties on the Chinese product were intended to offset the product manufactured below cost price and dumped in the United States market.

Since then, imports of corrosion-resistant steel from Vietnam have risen from $ 80 million a year to $ 2 million, while cold-rolled steel has gone from 9 millions of dollars to 215 million dollars.

The duties imposed constitute a preliminary finding in the complaint filed by six US steel manufacturers, and the department will announce a final decision in February. Importers of the Vietnamese product may apply for an exemption from the duties if they can prove that the equipment used in the production comes from outside China.

Washington has stepped up contradictory trade actions with China since Trump took office in January on a nationalist economic agenda, imposing duties on Chinese aluminum sheets and plywood, among other things.

Beijing reacted harshly last week after Washington opened an anti-dumping investigation on common aluminum alloy sheets worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

The Trump administration also launched in April national security investigations on Chinese imports of aluminum and steel, warning against the country's overcapacity threatening to undermine key producers to defense needs of the United States.

Trump also promised to reduce bilateral trade deficits with major trading partners.

However, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday that US imports of goods from China were the highest ever recorded in October, helping to push the bilateral trade gap from $ 2.1 billion to $ 31.9 billion for the month.

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