Canada launches trade inquiry into Chinese silicon manufacturers

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Canada has become the latest country to take action against China over allegedly unfair trade practices.

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has initiated a preliminary inquiry into a complaint by Québec Silicon that it has suffered injury as a result of the dumping and subsidising of silicon metal from China.

Québec Silicon, the subsidiary of Globe Specialty Metals, claiming to be the only silicon metal producer in Canada, filed the complaint that triggered the investigation CBSA.

In the complaint, Globe alleges that Chinese companies are dumping silicon on to the Canadian market and are being subsidised by the Chinese government.

Following an investigation by the quasi-independent Canadian International Trade Tribunal, the CBSA will issue preliminary determinations by 22 July and a final determination on 21 October 2013.

If duties are imposed they would take effect on 22 July 2013. However, duties could also be applied retroactively to imports arriving into the country after 22 April 2013.

Jeff Bradley, CEO of Globe Specialty Metals said: “For years, Chinese exporters have targeted Canada and sold silicon metal at prices that decimated the market. Globe has a policy of defending its investments and workers by pursuing, when appropriate, trade measures in response to companies that sell their products at dumped prices and countries that subsidise their exports in violation of WTO obligations and commitments.

“We look forward to competing for sales in Canada on a level playing field and stabilizing the local market for Quebec Silicon. Perhaps with actions like this, the countries and exporters who act inconsistently with trade laws will get the message that free trade must be fair trade,” said Bradley.

Having launched this complaint, Canada is also on the receiving end of a trade dispute launched by the European Union and Japan last year, where it has already been branded by the World Trade Organization as unfairly discriminating against overseas countries for Ontario’s domestic content policy.

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