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November 25, 2019

United States, China Seem Further Apart As U.S. Takes Action On Chinese Aluminum Wire

Regarding the possibility of a limited trade deal, the U.S. and Chinese governments seemed further apart last week.

First, in a cabinet meeting last Tuesday, President Donald Trump indicated that, if the two countries do not reach an agreement, he simply will “raise the tariffs even higher.” Then, as Bloomberg explained, last Friday, after Chinese President Xi said his nation wants to work toward an agreement that is based at least in part on “equality,” President Trump said he opposes that principle. In an interview with Fox News, the president said, “I didn’t like his word ‘equality’ because we started off so low … This can’t be like an even deal, because we’re starting off on the floor and you’re already at the ceiling. So we have to have a much better deal.”

Talks likely will continue this week, or the week after. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Chinese government has invited U.S. officials to come to China to continue negotiations in the coming weeks.

On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would give the U.S. Department of Commerce “additional flexibility” when reviewing anti-circumvention petitions filed against China and other non-market economies. Specifically, according to Politico, the bill would allow the department to include any product that is “interchangeable” with a product that is already the subject of an anti-dumping or countervailing duty within the scope of that pre-existing order. The legislation is sponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

Additionally, as Reuters reported, the U.S. International Trade Commission last week announced a final determination regarding imports of aluminum wire and cable from China. As a result of the ruling, the U.S. Department of Commerce will assign a dumping rate of 58.51 percent to 63.47 percent for the imports and a subsidy rate ranging from 33.44 percent to 165.63 percent to the Chinese producers. (In related news: as FastmarketsAMM reported, the Commerce Department also determined last week that cold-rolled coil from South Korea is not being dumped into the United States.)