A US trade commission has agreed plans to impose tariffs on imports of Chinese-made steel pipes.

The US’s International Trade Commission voted unanimously in favour of the tariffs, designed to offset Chinese government subsidies. Duties ranging between 10% and 15% are now set to be imposed.

The move is the latest in a string of recent trade disputes between China and the US, who accuse China of using unfair subsidies and price practices. The latest decision clears the way for the Commerce Department to impose the tariffs on steel piping as originally outlined in November.

Steel piping is big business in the US, which imported $2.74bn of steel pipe from China last year. The pipes are used in oil wells, and have seen increased demand on the back of rising oil prices.

China said it had been made a scapegoat of protectionist interests. Its Ministry of Commerce said it was ‘strongly dissatisfied with and resolutely opposed’ to the result of the vote.
It said: “The US industry associations were wrong when they attributed the sluggish business to the Chinese imports and blindly charged Chinese products with dumping and subsidising.

“The move is groundless, Chinese exports do not harm the American industry,” it added.