China announced that it has launched an anti-dumping probe into the United States’ cheaper sorghum exports, which have allegedly hurt Chinese farmers. The U.S. subsidies of the grain have fueled the trade tensions between the two super nations.
On Sunday, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said it has evidence that the U.S. government is pouring substantial subsidies into sorghum. This makes the grain a lot cheaper than what Chinese farmers can offer, which is hurting the economy.
Chinese officials said the probe will focus on the sorghum imports coming from America between January 2013 and October 2017. The investigation is expected to reach a conclusion by February 2019.
A spokesperson for the Commerce Ministry’s trade remedy and investigation bureau unveiled that cheaper U.S. imports of grain sorghum have damaged the country’s economy by dragging down prices on the grain sorghum market since 2013.
China Dismisses Link Between Sorghum Move and U.S.’ Tariff Decision
The investigation was announced days after the Trump administration passed higher tariffs on washing machines and solar panels imported from Asian countries. Beijing’s reaction was swift, calling the White House’s decision a misuse of trade measures.
The Trump administration is also zooming in on the possibility of slapping the Chinese steel and aluminum imports with higher tariffs because they hurt the economy. Meanwhile, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office has launched a separate probe into the communist country’s intellectual-property practices.
On Monday, China said that the latest probe is “a normal case of trade remedy,” rather than retaliation for Washington’s higher tariffs on Chinese goods. Some China critics, though, accused the country of hitting back at the U.S.
If China finds that the United States did help its sorghum exports sell at lower prices through subsidies, it could impose higher tariffs on the grain or take other steps against the U.S.
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