• China's Steel Export

China's Steel Export (Photo : Getty Images)

According to a report by state-affiliated China Daily, Washington’s probe into price dumping on steel from China and other exporting countries to the United States may set off retaliatory actions against American finance and high technology.

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“By proposing an unjustified investigation into steel imports in the guise of safeguarding national security, the U.S. seems to be resorting to unilateralism to solve bilateral and multilateral problems,” the newspaper wrote.

The investigation could affect steel exports from China, it said.

“If the U.S. does take protectionist measures, then other countries are likely to take justifiable retaliatory actions against U.S. companies that have an advantage . . . in fields such as finance and high-tech, leading to a tit-for-tat trade war that benefits no one,” the report noted.

China Daily encouraged the U.S. to put an end to the steel dispute through the World Trade Organization settlement mechanism.

The probe on steel imports was launched by U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday. China and other steel-producing countries are under investigation for dumping cheap steel products to the country.

Subsequent to a complaint from EU producers ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp, the European Union increased the “anti-dumping” duties on hot-rolled flat steel products imported from China. The taxes on Chinese steel increased from 13.2 percent to 22.6 percent in April.

The EU companies said that China is selling steel at very low prices--even to the point of loss--because of overcapacity.

At the start of the previous year, Beijing pledged to decrease the annual steel production to 150 million tons in the next five years. But instead, China’s steel production has only increased.

The United States must resolve its issues with steel from China. Washington should also be careful with its actions as the probe might flip-over the recent developments in the China-U.S. relations.