Trade panel sides with U.S. in steel dispute with China

The World Trade Organization has ruled in favor of the United States in a dispute with China over the American export of specialty steel used to build power transformers.

A World Trade Organization appeals panel said Thursday that Beijing improperly imposed tariffs on steel sent to China by two U.S. companies, AK Steel and ATI Allegheny Ludlum. China had contended that the American firms illegally dumped their products — selling them at unfairly low prices — on the Chinese market. AK Steel said duties of more than 19 percent were imposed on its products.

The Chinese claimed that the price of the grain-oriented electrical steel the U.S. companies exported unfairly undercut the prices on products made by two state-owned Chinese competitors, Baosteel Group and Wuhan Iron and Steel Group.

The Trade panel initially ruled in favor of the American companies in June. China appealed, but the appellate panel agreed with most terms of the initial decision. Chinese officials had no immediate comment on the new ruling.

Grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel is used in the production of high-efficiency transformers, electric motors and generators.

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