China and the United States have long clashed over trade policies and disputes over mutual market access. A bill in the U.S. House aimed at offsetting undervalued currencies could further fuel tensions.
Here are some of the disputes affecting China-U.S. trade.
Top Obama administration officials have criticized China’s currency practices, saying the country’s efforts to keep its currency artificially low creates an unfair trade advantage.
The U.S. House is expected to soon vote on a bill that would allow the United States to put duties on goods from countries with undervalued currencies, a move targeting China and expected to increase tensions.
The United States filed a case with the World Trade Organization to challenge anti-dumping and countervailing duties China placed on a U.S. specialty steel product called grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk accused China of imposing these duties to “harass U.S. exports.”
The United States accused China of creating a monopoly in its electronic payments market, allowing China Union Pay to handle most credit and debit card transactions made by Chinese consumers. In an attempt to open up access for U.S. credit and debit card companies, the United States filed a complaint with the WTO.
The United States set combined duties ranging up to 313.8 percent on coated paper from China. The duties come after accusations were made that Chinese paper companies were receiving government subsidies and selling their goods to the United States at unfairly low prices.
The paper is used in the printing of corporate annual reports, high-end catalogues and magazines, and in other prestigious applications.
Seamless Steel Pipe
The United States imposed anti-dumping duties ranging from 48.99 percent to 98.74 percent on seamless steel pipe from China. It also slapped countervailing duties of 13.66 percent to 53.65 percent on the pipe.
The U.S. Commerce Department levied the steep duties to offset below-market pricing by Chinese exporters and Chinese government subsidies.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce called preliminary anti-dumping duties set in November 2009 protectionist and launched its own investigation into imports of U.S.-made automobiles.
China has taken its case over U.S. tire duties to the WTO, arguing that the 35 percent additional duty imposed is unjustified protectionism. The Obama administration imposed safeguard duties on Chinese-made tires in September after a complaint by unions that low-priced Chinese imports were forcing U.S. factories to close.
The European Union and the United States are arguing to the WTO that Chinese export restrictions, including taxes and quotas, on several raw materials unfairly raise international prices, while keeping input costs lower for manufacturers in China.
China levied heavy anti-dumping duties on U.S. chicken products, a move that threatens one of the few U.S. industries that profitably exports to China.
U.S. breeders like Tyson Foods Inc sell chicken feet and wings, virtually worthless in the U.S. market, to China, where they are hugely popular, helping pad their profit margin on each chicken.
The United States has set final duties ranging up to 61 percent on hundreds of millions of dollars of copper pipe and tube from China. The U.S. International Trade Commission will vote in November on whether to uphold the duties or strike them down.
Distribution Servcies & Intelluctual Property Rights
In December 2009, China lost an appeal against a WTO ruling that its curbs on importing and distributing foreign publications and audiovisual products violated its WTO commitments. The case was initially brought by the United States. Beiji