Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) — China, the largest market for U.S. chicken, will impose anti-dumping duties of as much as 105.4 percent on imports of American poultry products, threatening to deepen a trade rift.
Importers of U.S. broiler-chicken products will be required to pay after an investigation showed they had caused “material damage” to local suppliers by selling at below-market prices, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its Web site, citing a preliminary ruling. The duties are effective Feb. 13.
The ruling may further strain trade relations between the U.S. and China, which began its investigation in September, two weeks after the U.S. imposed tariffs on Chinese tire shipments. Ties have soured over proposed U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and President Barack Obama’s plan to meet the Dalai Lama this month.
“This is probably a result of political tension, although a trade war between the two economies is unlikely,” said Li Qiang, a managing director of Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. China consumed almost 800,000 metric tons of U.S. chicken in 2008, valued at $722 million, according to the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.
China’s chicken probe also was a response to a decision by Congress that effectively bans imports of cooked poultry, James Sumner, the president of the poultry export council, said on Sept. 14.