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US launches new China trade investigation

The U.S. Commerce Department initiated fresh antidumping investigations into whether imports of gluconic acid, sodium gluconate, and derivative products from China and France are being sold in the U.S. at less than fair value.

In addition, the department opened a countervailing duty investigation to determine whether the producers of these products in China receive government subsidies.

The Commerce Department initiated the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations after a Nov. 30 complaint from PMP Fermentation Products Inc. alleging estimated dumping margins of 213.15% for China and 76.95% for France. PMP charged that the governments were providing preferential loans, interest rates, grant and tax programs, and other assistance.

Imports of gluconic acid, sodium gluconate and derivative products from China and France in 2016 were valued at approximately $4.4 million and $6.1 million, respectively.

In November, the Commerce Department opened an investigation into Chinese aluminum imports. Previously, the U.S. government imposed tariffs on plywood imports from China. The Trump administration is also considering whether to impose tariffs on Chinese steel.

"The Trump administration will defend American workers and businesses with every tool at our disposal," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement announcing the most recent action.