U.S. tells WTO it will consult with China over tariff policies

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"Market participants might translate the temporary deposit of sorghum as the start of a new round of trade disputes between China and the USA, triggering concerns over soybeans", said Monica Tu, an analyst at Shanghai JC Intelligence.

In response to market concerns that China could reduce its treasuries holdings as a countermeasure against US tariff actions on Chinese products, Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said earlier this month that China is a responsible investor and respects worldwide capital market rules. China relies nearly entirely on the United States for its sorghum, importing about $1 billion worth of the grain a year. It said importers must post bonds of 178.6 per cent of the value of their goods to cover possible anti-dumping duties while the probe is completed.

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China increased its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities in February, after falling to a six-month low in January. This happened after President Donald Trump issued tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines and even more levies on steel, aluminum and other products from China. The Asian nation, the largest buyer of American sorghum, has responded with tariffs of its own and potentially more to come.

The Wall Street Journal notes, "U.S. sorghum exports to China peaked at $2 billion in 2015 and have averaged almost a $1 billion a year over the past two years, according to official US data".

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Investigators concluded dumping of USA sorghum "substantially damaged" Chinese competitors, the Commerce Ministry said. None of this information appears to have been seriously considered or used in today's preliminary determination, which is neither fair nor appropriate.

"National Sorghum Producers, alongside our producers, stakeholders and partners, has cooperated fully with China's antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, including submitting several thousand pages of data demonstrating conclusively that USA sorghum is neither dumped nor causing any injury to China". And U.S. sorghum farmers should not be paying the price for this larger fight.

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