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Obama urged to restrict Chinese auto parts

Lawmakers from Midwestern US states and groups from the auto parts sector urged Barack Obama, US president, to take action to restrict imports of auto parts from China.

“I think all of us will be urging the administration to initiate a case or multiple cases,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Mr Obama said last week that his administration was launching an initiative to crack down on unfair foreign trade practices in China and other countries around the world.

The US president, who has been criticised by some Republican presidential candidates for not being tough enough on Beijing, will host Xi Jinping, China’s vice-president, on February 14 at the White House. Mr Xi is expected to become China’s next leader.

Beijing angered Washington in December with a decision to impose punitive duties of up to 22 per cent on large cars and sport utility vehicles from the US, a move that many saw as retaliation for earlier US moves to restrict imports of Chinese goods ranging from tires to poultry.

The Obama administration is considering whether to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on solar panels and wind energy towers from China in response to US industry allegations of unfair trading practices.

Trade groups claim that Chinese auto parts imports “have surged by almost 900 per cent since 2001”, due in part to large Chinese government subsidies.

“This begs for a trade action,” Mr Paul said, adding that this could include both a case at the World Trade Organization and a US commerce department investigation leading to anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese auto parts.

The studies will show how Chinese imports have contributed to a loss of more than 400,000 jobs in the US auto supply chain since 2000 and have put another 1.6m jobs at risk, a source familiar with the material said.

Source: FT.com

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