Friday, March 30, 2007

US Slaps Duties on China's Coated Paper Products

An interesting development although I'm not sure I agree with the position being a consummate free trader. According to the NAM's Shopfloor - it's "the first time that the law has been used in relation to non-market economies."

If they aren't just slapping a blanket duty on paper in general, then are they suggesting that the subisidies from the Chinese government occur in the value added side of the equation? Apparently NewPage who brought the suit and the US commerce department said "several Chinese companies were found to receive subsidies in the form of tax breaks, debt forgiveness and loans."

This may be a trade mechanism that they'll be using across more industries given how broad they are defining government subsidies. I mean it's not like American states give tax breaks for companies locating in their districts do they? Further, the fundamental premise of trade is that it creates value for both parties in the transaction. Not sure if it's of comfort but in the past, the US has instead applied anti-dumping tariffs to countries like China. And according to Forbes, has filed 31 cases against China since 2001. That said, it looks like more of a political move, as the Bush Administration aims to renew fast track trade negotiating authority that expires in June.

No comments: