Taipei, The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has launched anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into steel products sold by China on the local market in a bid to protect the interests of Taiwanese firms.
The ministry said Chinese steel products being looked at by the anti-dumping investigation include galvanized steel, carbon steel plates and cold rolled stainless steel, while the anti-subsidy probe involves hot rolled stainless steel and cold rolled carbon steel.
In addition to protecting local steel manufacturers, the probe aims to provide Taiwan with an additional bargaining chip in talks with the United States as it seek exemption from Washington's imposition of a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum in March, according to the ministry.
Hsieh Ling-yuan (???), deputy director-general of the MOF's Customs Administration, said Taiwan has no intention of getting involved in a trade war between the U.S. and China, but launching a probe into China's steel products is expected to ensure Beijing cannot use Taiwan as a transit point to sell its cheap steel products to the U.S market.
On March 8, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose additional tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The duties took effect on Friday, 15 days after the signing.
It was the first time in more than three decades the law has been invoked to protect a domestic industry from competition brought about by imports.
Despite negotiations between Taiwan and U.S. trade officials last month, Taipei was not included on the list of exempt countries, though Trump has decided to grant temporary exemptions to the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and South Korea as it conducts further negotiations with those countries.
Taiwan has said it will continue to seek an exemption through more talks with the U.S.
After a meeting of the ministry's tariff review task force on April 11, Hsieh said the ministry suspects these Chinese steel products are engaged in unfair trading practices, which could harm Taiwanese manufacturers.
Furthermore, MOF consulted with the Ministry of Economic Affairs before deciding to launch its investigation into Chinese steel imports.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel