July 23, 2018 / 9:32 AM / in 3 months

Chinese aluminium foil maker sues U.S. seeking to remove anti-dumping duties

* Shantou Wanshun unit files suit at U.S. Court of Intl Trade

* Jiangsu Zhongji was hit by anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties

* U.S. customers still buying company’s foil - board secretary

By Tom Daly

BEIJING, July 23 (Reuters) - Chinese aluminium foil producer Shantou Wanshun Package Material Stock Co on Monday said its subsidiary is suing the United States over twin anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties Washington imposed on its shipments.

In a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Wanshun said Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials, which was hit with a countervailing duty of 17.14 percent and an anti-dumping duty of 37.99 percent earlier this year, had filed a lawsuit suit with the U.S. Court of International Trade.

Zhongji was among the Chinese foil companies that unsuccessfully filed a joint “no injury” claim with the U.S. International Trade Commission last year as Washington probed whether the companies were unfairly subsidised, and is now trying to reverse the duties on its own.

The total duties of 55.13 percent on Zhongji’s foil were the lowest imposed on Chinese foil makers, Wanshun’s Board Secretary Huang Wei told Reuters. This shows the U.S. side had taken some of its arguments into account, she said.

“But there are still some unreasonable elements inside” the ruling, she said.

Huang pointed to the United States comparing the prices of China’s aluminium foil exports to South Africa as a reference case. The stock exchange filing noted that Bulgaria would have been a more appropriate choice.

The document made no mention of damages being sought but Huang said she hoped the U.S. would remove the twin duties.

Aluminium has been a focal point of the U.S.-China trade row, with Washington calling on China, the world’s top producer of the metal, to rein in excess production capacity.

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a broad 10 percent import duty on aluminium imports from China and other countries from March 23.

“We will still export to the United States,” Huang said. Even after the double duties, “our customers still came back to buy” because of favourable pricing, she added.

A search of the U.S. Court of International Trade website showed Jiangsu Zhongji had filed a case against the United States in June but the full document was unavailable.

Associated defendants named in the stock exchange filing were the Aluminum Association Trade Enforcement Working Group and its individual members, as well as JW Aluminum Co , Novelis Corp and Reynolds Consumer Products.

The U.S. Aluminum Association, which had previously hailed the twin tariffs as a victory for U.S. foil producers and rules-based trade, and the other parties could not immediately be reached for comment outside of business hours in the United States. (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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