China has imposed anti-dumping duties on the imports of two chemicals widely used as coupling agents for water-based coatings present in cosmetics and other consumer goods from the US and the European Union.
The levy comes into effect today and will apply over the next five years on chemicals ethylene glycol monobutyl ether and diethylene glycol monobutyl coming into the country from America and Europe.
The duties, ranging from 9.3 to 18.8 percent, is said to hit US companies like Eastman Chemical, Dow Chemicals, and BASF SE and Sasol Germany from Europe.
According to the International Business Times, the levy is the country’s attempt at striking back at the West for restrictions on its goods.
“The development is seen as a counter move from China after the US and the EU set anti-dumping duties and countervailing duty laws on Chinese products, which they found unfairly priced and subsidized,” it reported.
The news site further noted that China had openly denounced the move by the West, stating that the US and Europe were pursuing trade protectionism on products ranging from ceramic plates to solar panels.
According to the Ministry of Commerce’s website, the dumping of these chemicals have caused material injury to China's domestic industry and that after a period of investigation, a final decision was taken to impose a levy.
The ministry started its' anti-dumping investigation on the pricing of the chemicals back in November of 2011 following requests from domestic companies, before making its initial decision in July of last year to take provisional measures.
Anti-dumping tariff bandwagon
Back in 2008, the European Commission imposed anti-dumping tariffs of almost 40 per cent on monosodium glutamate (MSG) imported to the EU from China, following an investigation into the effects of lower-priced imports on EU industry.
MSG is an additive that is mainly used as a flavour enhancer for foods but is also used in personal care products.
The investigation was initially launched following a complaint by Ajinomoto Europe, the only MSG producer in the EU that it had suffered material injury as a result of the dumping of the material on the EU market by Chinese firms, and provided evidence to investigators to support the dumping allegation.
Following findings that supported Ajinomoto's claims, the EC announced it was imposing a provisional duty rate of 39.7 percent on the bulk of Chinese MSG producers exporting to the EU, whilst lower rates were granted to companies that provided full information on their MSG activities to help with the investigation.