U.S. launches probe into Chinese aluminum foil imports

BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States has launched a probe to determine whether imports of Chinese aluminum foil should be subject to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday, just weeks after the U.S. foil industry accused the world’s top producer of dumping.

Earlier this month, U.S. producers lodged a petition calling for an investigation and accusing 230 Chinese companies selling almost $400 million worth of foil last year in the United States at discount prices and damaging the sector.

Estimated dumping margins range from 38.40 percent to 140.21 percent, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday. (

Responding to the move, China’s commerce ministry on Wednesday urged the United States to conduct a fair investigation and follow guidelines set by the World Trade Organization.

“Inappropriate use of trade remedy measures will not only harm the export interests of Chinese aluminum foil firms, but also will weaken the competitiveness of the U.S. downstream industries,” according to the statement posted on the Chinese commerce ministry’s website.

The U.S. International Trade Commission will make preliminary determinations on or before April 24, the Commerce Department said.

If the ITC issues affirmative preliminary injury decisions, the investigations will continue and Commerce will make its preliminary determinations on anti-subsidy, or ‘countervailing’ duties and anti-dumping duties on June 2 and Aug. 16, respectively.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Kenneth Maxwell