China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) criticized a decision by the United States to impose punitive duties on Chinese steel products, saying the U.S. steel industry was overprotected.
"China is deeply worried about the United States's trade protectionism in the steel industry," the MOC said in a statement. "China believes that overprotection is the very reason U.S. steel products uncompetitive."
The U.S. trade authority ruled that the U.S. industry had been "materially injured" by imports of cold-rolled steel flat products from China and Japan.
As a result, the U.S. Commerce Department will levy anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of these products from China at a rate of 265.79 percent and 256.44 percent, respectively.
There were 161 ongoing trade remedy duty orders issued by the U.S. authorities on imported steel products as of the end of April, which shows excessive protection of the country's steel industry, the MOC said.
It attributed the global steel glut to slumping demand after the financial crisis, warning that growing U.S. protectionism could only increase trade friction and conflict.
The best solution is stronger cooperation and coordination, the MOC said, calling for joint efforts to tap potential demand to benefit all countries.
It urged the United States to abide by World Trade Organization rules and apply trade remedy measures discreetly.
(Xinhua News Agency June 23, 2016)