China slaps new penalties on US chicken imports

BEIJING (AFP)— China said Wednesday it will impose preliminary tariffs on a variety of US chicken products it claims received government subsidies as trade tensions grow between the two sides.

The commerce ministry said importers of US broiler chicken products will have to pay deposits based on the alleged US government subsidy rates of 3.8-31.4 percent of the import price.

“The domestic broiler chicken industry suffered material damages” due to the subsidies, the ministry said on its website.

A broiler is a type of chicken raised specifically for meat production. The United States accounts for more than 70 percent of China’s broiler chicken imports.

Chinese customs authorities will start collecting the deposits from Friday.

The ministry did not say when a final ruling would be announced but Chinese countervailing rules state that the deposit penalty can be effective for no more than four months.

The anti-subsidy action comes after China in February slapped preliminary anti-dumping duties of up to 105.4 percent on the same US chicken products.

China and the United States have been at loggerheads over a range of trade issues from steel to paper to chemicals, amid a spat over China’s currency that critics say has been kept low to give its exporters an unfair advantage.

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