The Chinese government imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of styrene monomer from South Korea, the United States and Taiwan in its preliminary ruling amid escalating tensions between China and the U.S. in the trade sector.
The China’s Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday slapped a preliminary anti-dumping duty rate of 7.8 percent to 8.4 percent on styrene monomer imports from Korea, 9.2 percent to 10.7 percent on U.S. products and 5 percent on Taiwanese products, saying that the styrene imports selling below normal prices have hurt domestic industry.
Styrene monomer is a raw material widely used to make polystyrene, synthetic rubber, plastic and ion exchange resin. Korea is the largest styrene monomer exporter to China. Korean companies including Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. and Lotte Chemical Corp. shipped the products worth $1.3 billion to China in 2016, commanding a 35 percent share among exporters of the item to China.
The latest move by Chinese authorities follows the U.S.’s decision last month to take safeguard actions imposing hefty tariffs on imported washers and solar panels from China and Korea, raising speculation that Beijing has taken steps to take retaliatory actions against the U.S. amid escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
An official from the trade ministry said that Korean authorities have worked hard to protest against the charge, and added that the preliminary measure could be both good and bad for Korean exporters as Korean products were levied lower rate than the U.S. imports but higher than the Taiwanese products.
By Kim Dae-gi and Choi Mira
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