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US defers China aluminum foil dumping decision

The U.S. Department of Commerce has deferred its preliminary decision on an anti-dumping investigation of aluminum foil from China.

The department said Oct. 5 that the deferral of the decision, previously slated for that day, would allow it "to fully analyze information pertaining to China's status as a non-market economy country, which is being contemplated within the context of this [anti-dumping] investigation."

The agency intends to issue its preliminary decision in the probe, including a decision on China's non-market economy status, no later than Nov. 30. A final determination will be made 75 days after the preliminary decision, unless postponed at a later date.

Under World Trade Organization rules, countries that do not consider China a market economy have more flexibility in calculating tariffs on China-made products that violate trade rules, said an Oct. 6 Bloomberg News report.

The deferral was made to steer clear of any decision that could inflame relations with China ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's trip to its major trading partner in November, the news agency noted.

In August, the department published preliminary findings that Chinese aluminum foil producers received subsidies of 16.56% to 80.97%, said an Aug. 8 Financial Times report. The commerce department ordered customs to collect cash deposits from importers of aluminum foil from China based on the preliminary rates.

The department was scheduled to disclose its final findings on the case Oct. 24. It estimated that U.S. imports of aluminum foil from China totaled $389 million in 2016.

Beijing said the findings were "groundless," adding that these could damage economic relations, said an Aug. 10 FT report.