Obama officials back bill to hit China subsidies

January 27, 2012 19:37


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WASHINGTON -  US President Barack Obama's administration is pressing Congress to move quickly to restore an important weapon in the US arsenal against subsidized imports from China.

A recent court ruling took away the US Commerce Department's ability to impose countervailing duties on "non-market economies," and the administration wants lawmakers to enact legislation to undo the decision.

"This matter is of the utmost urgency," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Commerce Secretary John Bryson said in one of several letters they sent to members of Congress. It was dated Jan. 18 and obtained by Reuters on Friday.

Without legislation, the Commerce Department could have to lift and deny new countervailing duties on $4.7 billion worth of subsidized imports from China and Vietnam, they said.

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