U.S. officials said a Chinese aluminum magnate is sidestepping U.S. trade sanctions, the latest development in federal attempts to rein in a flood of cheap metal imports that have overwhelmed U.S. producers.
The Commerce Department, following a year-long investigation, said certain aluminum imports from China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd., founded by Chinese billionaire Liu Zhongtian, circumvented antidumping restrictions imposed by U.S. trade authorities on the company in 2010.
The findings are the clearest sign to date that the U.S. government is acting on allegations by American companies about Chinese companies’ trade practices that the U.S. producers say are unfair and have gutted their industry.
The Commerce investigation was launched last year in response to allegations by a U.S. trade group that China Zhongwang and companies affiliated with Mr. Liu were shipping aluminum using a variety of methods designed to evade punitive tariffs.
The Commerce Department in 2010 had punished China Zhongwang and other Chinese producers with tariffs as high as 374.15% after finding they were receiving illegal subsidies and dumping, or selling products in the U.S. below market prices. The tariffs led China Zhongwang’s U.S. sales to plunge.
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