WASHINGTON, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Although China is the world's largest steel-producing country, less than one percent of its steel products were exported to the U.S., a recent study from a leading U.S. think tank showed, making China irrelevant to the steel investigation conducting by the U.S. government.
Trump administration initiated an investigation on whether steel imports threaten to impair national security on April 20, by invoking a rarely used section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. President Donald Trump claimed that "both the United States and global markets for steel products are distorted by large volumes of excess capacity -- much of which results from foreign government subsidies and other unfair practices."
Although Trump said the investigation has nothing to do with China, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross who has been leading the investigation suggested that China was a major target.
However, the U.S. purchased just 0.9 percent of Chinese steel exports in 2016, according to a report from Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), a leading think tank based in Washington D.C.
China's steel exports to the U.S. plunged by 57 percent from 2.21 million tons in 2015 to 0.95 million tons in 2016, because four trade remedies, including anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) imposed by Obama administration went into effect in 2016. At the end of 2016, 20 U.S. trade remedies against steel mill imports from China were in effect.
The U.S. Commerce Department on May 10 launched the lastest anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty investigations against imports of cold-drawn mechanical tubing from China, Germany, India, Italy, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has kept urging Washington to abide by its commitment against protectionism and help maintain a free, open and just international trade environment.