OTTAWA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Embassy in Canada Thursday said accusations of the so-called China's dumping of steel into Canada's market are groundless and that China is also a victim of trade protectionism.
Zhu Xiaozhong, spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in Canada, said that data from Canada's national statistical agency shows Canada totally imported 9.55 billion U.S dollars of steel in 2017, of which about 940 million dollars were imported from China, only accounting for 9.8 percent of the total, while 5.58 billion dollars were imported from the United States, accounting for 58.4 percent of the total.
According to Canadian media, Canada's steel export to the United States accounts for the largest share of U.S. steel import with 17 percent every year.
"If 9.8 percent is dumping, what is 58.4 percent or 17 percent? We understand Canada's pressing feelings to avoid the U.S. trade sanctions, but it is not right to drop stones on someone who has fallen into a well, or even push others to the front as a bullet shield," Zhu said.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on March 1, while Canada may become the first country to bear the brunt.
Enraged Canadians complained that the decision was trade protectionism and would severely damage the interests of Canada, appealing to Washington to change its mind or face Canada's retaliation.
Trump proclaimed a temporary exemption from the tariffs for Canada on March 8, which made Canadians breathe more easily.
Some Canadian members of Parliament cautioned the government will have to address American fears that Canada is being used as an entry point for cheap Chinese steel flooding the United States market if Canada wants the threat of tariffs gone and a permanent exemption in its place, Canadian newspaper Hilltimes reported on Thursday.
Zhu said the moment Canada felt relieved from outside pressure, some Canadians turned their guns on China, demanding that the Canadian government be harsher in its dealing with China or it will be perceived by the United States as Canada is "not helping this thing."