China investigates anti-dumping of POM plastics from the EU and US, China investigates anti-dumping of POM plastics, China investigates anti-dumping of POM plastics from the EU , China investigates anti-dumping of POM plastics from the US,

US-China Trade Tensions: China Investigates Anti-Dumping of POM Plastics from the EU and US

In less than a week following the announcements by the EU and the US to intensify trade remedy investigations on Chinese products or those originating from China, on May 19, 2024, China announced an anti-dumping investigation on imported POM plastics from the European Union (EU), the US, Japan, and Taiwan.

According to the announcement from China’s Ministry of Commerce, the investigation will start on May 19 and is typically expected to be completed within 12 months, with a possible extension of 6 months in special cases. The Ministry’s announcement stated that the subject of the investigation is versatile engineering plastic POM, a chemical with good overall mechanical properties such as high mechanical strength, crack resistance, and high wear resistance.

POM plastic has numerous applications and can partially replace metals like copper, zinc, tin, and lead. It is widely used in automotive components, electronic devices, industrial machinery, daily necessities, sports equipment, medical devices, pipe fittings, and building materials.

This investigation follows the announcements of US and EU investigations, including the US investigation into solar energy batteries from Southeast Asian countries and the EU investigation into public procurement of medical equipment and rolled steel products from China.

Although China faces significant pressure, it does not necessarily mean its development opportunities will be completely blocked. Notably, leveraging its close relationship with Mexico in recent times, China can reroute its investigated products to Mexico and then export them from Mexico to the US to conceal their true origin.

Interestingly, while the trade tensions between the US and China harm businesses in both countries, Mexico and some other countries benefit due to lower costs and closer proximity. They also become essential tools for both sides to retaliate against each other. China’s exports to Mexico have surged in recent years. In January, data from the transportation platform Xeneta showed that the number of container shipments from China to Mexico increased by nearly 60% compared to a year earlier.

However, many experts believe that China and the US are unlikely to erupt into a fierce trade war like the 18-month conflict in 2018. This is because both nations are aware of the severe consequences of imposing aggressive sanctions on each other.

Reflecting on the tariffs the US imposed on China since 2018, estimates suggest they have caused up to $419 billion in annual damages to American households. It is likely that China will respond in a restrained manner and avoid escalating tensions to mitigate negative impacts on their economic recovery in the near future.

Nonetheless, the US also needs to be cautious because China will undoubtedly have a breaking point. If the US or its allies continue to issue sanctions, it could reach a critical point for China, especially as the US presidential election enters a crucial phase.

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