China slaps 179% anti-dumping duty on sorghum from US

Sheri Evans
April 18, 2018

According to the latest annual report released in September 2017 by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a multi-agency panel that reviews foreign purchases of American companies, China had led foreign countries represented in the CFIUS reviews for the fourth consecutive reported year (2012-2015).

The decision to hit US sorghum with tariffs does not violate worldwide law, said Wang Hejun, head of the commerce ministry's trade remedy and investigation bureau.

In the latest in a bitter trade dispute between the US and China, Beijing on Tuesday said it would impose anti-dumping duties on imports of USA sorghum.

The Commerce Ministry chose to launch anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probes into US' sorghum in early February.

CNN reports China's the largest importer of US sorghum products.

Europe and other trading partners also complain China is flooding global markets with unfairly low-cost steel, aluminum and other goods, threatening jobs overseas.

"Having a substantial interest as an exporter in this case, the European Union requests consultations with the United States", the EU said in a statement published on the world trade body's website.

Wang Hejun, head of the MOC's trade remedy and investigation bureau, said the decision to impose anti-dumping measures on USA sorghum is in accordance with Chinese laws and WTO rules, and is aimed at correcting unfair practices to maintain a heathy trade order. The Foreign Ministry said Beijing is ready to start trade countermeasures.

ADM and Cargill could not immediately be reached for comment.

Airbus and Boeing did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

Curbing imports of grains is considered one of the most powerful weapons in Beijing's arsenal in the growing spat with the United States.

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China's big opening-up push garnered cautious optimism among the overseas business community when Xi Jinping spoke at an economic forum earlier this month, but some also bemoaned the lack of specific measures.

Midwestern US farmers are a core of Trump's political base, and a surplus on the global grain market has growers worldwide struggling to find profitable markets.

The Chinese government has also threatened a 25% tariff on soybeans, a much more significant crop for USA farmers.

"I don't know what (the importers) will do, but it will be rough", the first trader said.

Traders, who had rushed to increase imports prior to the ruling, were reeling from the scale of the deposit on Tuesday. The most-active contract climbed more than 2.5% in the final 20 minutes of trading.

Last year's growth was unexpectedly strong but activity began to weaken in March.

Imports are usually high in April and May, but cargos are likely to get diverted to other points in Asia, traders said.

The structural shift of China's economy is also key to its effort to cope with pressure from rising protectionism, a threat highlighted by the NBS spokesperson.

A deputy industry minister said in September that Beijing was developing a timetable to join France and Britain in ending sales of gasoline cars.

"You're putting a lot of money at risk without any knowledge of what the end game will be", he said.

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