WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday initiated trade probes against imports from China and Japan of a chemical often used to sanitize water in swimming pools.
The department claimed in a statement that the chemical from Japan, whose technical name is chlorinated isocyanurates, has been sold in the U.S. market below its fair value, and those from China received export subsidies.
Consequently, the department decided to launch an anti-dumping duty investigation against the products from Japan and a countervailing duty inquiry against those from China.
The probe is based on a complaint filed by West Virgina-based Clearon Corp. and Texas-based Occidental Chemical Corporation, which alleged the dumping margins between 129.4 percent to 218.1 percent and the subsidy rate well above two percent.
In 2012, imports of this chemical from China and Japan were each estimated 145.2 million dollars and 57.7 million dollars, according to the Commerce Department.
Another U.S. trade authority, the International Trade Commission (ITC), was scheduled to make its preliminary inquiry determination around Oct. 15, 2013. If the ITC determines that the imports of the chemical from China or Japan are materially injuring or threatening the U.S. domestic industry, the probes will continue. Then the Commerce Department will move to make its preliminary determinations later this year or early next year.
As the U.S. economy is undergoing a slow recovery, some U.S. firms tend to edge out overseas competition, putting their fellow companies which depend on global supply chains in a disadvantaged position.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly urged Washington to abide by its commitment against protectionism and help maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.