WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday set preliminary antidumping (AD) penalties on imports of drill pipe from China, a move that might escalate trade disputes between the two countries.
The department said in a statement that it "preliminarily determined that Chinese producers or exporters of drill pipe have sold drill pipe in the United States at margins ranging between 0 and 429.29 percent."
As a result of this preliminary determination, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect a cash deposit or bond based on these preliminary rates.
In 2009, imports of drill pipe from China were valued at an estimated 119.2 million U.S. dollars, according to the department.
Commerce said that it is currently scheduled to make its final determination in December 2010. If it makes an affirmative final determination, and the U.S. International Trade Commission makes an affirmative final determination that imports of drill pipe from China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry, Commerce will issue an AD duty order.
It is just less than two months after the department set preliminary countervailing duties (CVD) on imports of drill pipe from China.
The moves came on the heels of the Toronto summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in June, when the U.S. leaders explicitly pledged to fight various forms of protectionism.
Yet with their call for free trade still lingering in the air, the U.S. policymakers backtracked, throwing themselves into a scenario that harms not only China's interests but also their own.
Among a host of trade remedy measures the U.S. has taken against China, the Commerce Department set final antidumping duties on imports of woven electric blankets from China, and the International Trade Commission decided in a final move to slap punitive antidumping tariffs against a Chinese-made chemical product.