By  on April 23, 2010

WASHINGTON — China imposed punitive tariffs on nylon imported from the U.S. and other countries on Thursday, alleging the goods damaged its domestic industry.

The Ministry of Commerce said China will impose antidumping tariffs ranging from 4 percent to 96.5 percent on nylon-6 imported from the U.S., the European Union, Russia and Taiwan, according to state media reports. Antidumping tariffs are applied when imported goods are sold for less than fair market value or below the cost of manufacture.

Nylon-6, also called polycaprolactam, is used to make products such as hosiery and knit apparel. The nylon tariffs will be in place for five years, extending temporary duties China established last fall. It was not clear what specific duty rate would be applied to imports from the U.S. versus the other countries involved.

According to the International Trade Commission, in 2009 the U.S. exported $189.6 million of polycaprolactam chips, which includes nylon 6.

The move by China followed Wednesday’s announcement from the Commerce Department that it initiated an investigation of Chinese imports of aluminum extrusions, used in cars, furniture and door frames. The case alleged China subsidized exports of aluminum products to the U.S. and sold them for less than fair market value in the U.S. market. It is being watched closely because it includes charges that China’s currency policies amount to an illegal subsidy for its domestic industry.

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