China suspends anti-dumping probe into U.S. grain

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 18, 2018

China began investigating USA sorghum in February after discovering that giant volumes and falling costs damage Chinese language producers.

The ministry said it would also fully repay deposits paid by United States sorghum importers since April.

"As I understand, the relevant consultations are ongoing and they are constructive", he said, adding that he could not elaborate on the specifics of the negotiations.

The announcement came during a visit by Vice Premier Liu He to Washington to discuss ways to address the trade imbalance between the world's 2 biggest economies.

China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement the investigation into a critical ingredient for animal feed and liquor had revealed that anti-dumping and anti-subsidies penalties would inflate living costs for Chinese consumers.

Shipping containers are seen at Nansha terminal of Guangzhou port, in Guangdong province, China, June 14, 2017.

China's chief negotiator, Liu He, a top economic adviser to Mr. Xi, is meeting on Thursday with the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin; the United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer; Wilbur L. Ross, the commerce secretary; and other officials.

The ministry now says that such a measure would particularly hit Chinese livestock breeders struggling to make ends meet as domestic pork prices fall.

President Donald J. Trump's administration has proposed tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products to punish Beijing for requiring U.S. companies to turn over technology in exchange for access to China's market. Beijing still threatens to slap aggressive 25 percent tariffs on a swathe of US farm goods, including sorghum and soybeans.

Still, some traders said the ending of the sorghum probe may not be enough to entice them back to doing business with the United States while trade tensions remain high.

In April, China forced USA sorghum exporters to put up a 178.6 percent deposit on the value of sorghum shipments to the country after launching an investigation in February following Trump's imposition of steep tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines. "The next United States sorghum crop will be harvested in August", he told the news agency Reuters.

The two biggest US exports to China were aircraft at $16 billion a year ago, and soybeans, at $12 billion. "We are now saved", said a private sorghum trader who had over 600 tonnes of USA sorghum stranded at a Chinese port.

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