U.S. seizes $25 million worth of aluminum linked to Chinese billionaire

US files WTO suit against China

The Obama administration on Thursday launched a complaint against China over subsidies provided to aluminum producers it says has created excess supply and hurt US workers.

The complaint begins a process to address US concerns that China's subsidies appear to have caused serious prejudice under WTO rules to USA interests by artificially expanding Chinese capacity, production and market share and causing a significant lowering in the global price for primary aluminum.

The move against the stockpile of aluminum connected to Chinese billionaire Liu Zhongtian, the owner and CEO of aluminum company China Zhongwang, is the strongest action yet by federal authorities probing whether USA companies connected to the Chinese magnate illegally avoided almost 400% tariffs by routing the metal through other countries. "Artificially cheap loans from banks and low-cost inputs for Chinese aluminum are contributing to excess capacity and undercutting American workers and businesses".

"The Chinese government believes that China has been strictly obeying rules and fulfilling duties since joining the WTO, and that great contributions have been made by China in terms of multilateral trade", said Sun.

"Thousands have lost jobs because of unfairly subsidized aluminum from China that has flooded the market and led to overcapacity, and it's past time we get tough on these violations before more American workers suffer", Brown said.

Brown and Portman say that 15,000 USA workers in aluminum production have lost their jobs in the last decade, including 1,500 in the past year.

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She also asked acting High Commissioner of Canada to India, Arun Kumar Sahu, to lodge a protest with the top brass of Amazon. The product is listed as "Indian coat of arms seal dog t-shirt" and is priced at $19.99 (Rs 1362).


China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement Friday the USA complaint "lacked a factual basis", Reuters reported.

"China gives its aluminum industry an unfair advantage through underpriced loans and other illegal government".

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said in a statement that he looks forward to working with the incoming Trump administration on enforcement cases.

"China's heavy-handed industrial policies have been wreaking havoc on global markets for years", Neal said.

Heidi Brock, president of the Aluminum Association, said in a statement that her group is still reviewing the WTO complaint and now neither supports nor opposes the filing of the case. "Brown's advice and is standing up for US aluminum producers at the WTO". "This is called "serious prejudice" in trade law terminology".

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