US Envoy Downplays China Trade Difficulties
''Mainland items have good access'' to the US market
HONG KONG 11/18/04 - Recent actions by Washington against China'../eWebPhotos/chinaflag1a.gif" align=left vspace=15 border=0>while the US? growing trade deficit with China
shows mainland goods have good access to America.?
"I think if China looks at the trade balance it has with the United States, it would be hard to conclude that we have a closed market," US Assistant Secretary of State Earl Wayne told reporters after delivering an address to the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Hong Kong.
The US deficit with China reached an all-time high for any country of $124 billion last year and is expected to hit $140 billion this year, according to trade analysts.
Last week, Washington slapped tariffs on Chinese bedroom furniture imports, ruling they were being
?dumped? on the US market.
The tariffs were levied after a coalition of US-based furniture makers argued that a surge in Chinese furniture has forced plant closings and 35,000 layoffs, with much of the injury concentrated in Southeastern US states.
China currently supplies about half of the imported bedroom furniture imported by the US, an amount totaling about $1.2 billion last year.
At the same time, the ruling by the Department of Commerce lowered the penalty tariff for a significant percentage of Chinese furniture imports to 8.64%, down from the preliminary tariff of 12.91%.
A smaller group of six companies accounting for roughly 35% of Chinese furniture imports will face penalty tariffs ranging from 2.22% to 16.7%.
The anti-dumping tariffs could range as high as 198%, but analysts said less than 2% of furniture imports would be hit with tariffs at that level.
The new ruling will not become final until a separate agency, the US International Trade Commission (ITC), upholds its preliminary ruling that US companies are being harmed by imports of the Chinese-made furniture.
The ITC has already held a hearing on the case and has said it will expected to issue its final determination on harm by December 23.
On the same day that Wayne addressed the AMCHAM, the ITC issued an affirmative final determination
imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese-made hand trucks exported to the US.
According to the determination, imposition of anti-dumping duties requires final affirmative
determinations both from the Department of Commerce on dumping and from the ITC on injury.
Last month, the Commerce Department had issued its affirmative dumping determination, calculating the dumping margins as ranging from 24.90% to 386.75%.
US imports of the hand trucks from China amounted in 2003 to $21.4 million, about a 27% share of the total US market, said Commerce.
Dumping is the import of goods at a price below the home-market or a third-country price or below the cost of production. A dumping margin represents by how much the fair-value price exceeds the dumped price.
Also in October, Washington also imposed a quota on Chinese-made socks and is also seeking a limit on the importation of cotton and woolen trousers.
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