China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) Saturday criticized a US government report on steel and aluminum product imports, saying the findings were "groundless" and do not tally with the facts.
The US Department of Commerce Friday recommended President Donald Trump restrict imports of steel and aluminum products by imposing steep tariffs, citing national security concerns.
Under the Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the agency found that "the quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports threaten to impair the national security, as defined by Section 232." The agency recommended tariff options of at least 24 percent on all steel products from all countries and at least 7.7 percent on all aluminum products from all countries.
In a response to the report, Wang Hejun, head of the MOC's trade remedy and investigation bureau, said as most of the US steel and aluminum imports are mid- and low-end, countries including Canada and China have proven to the United States during the investigation that such imports incur no harm to national security.
The United States has already overprotected domestic industries in the two sectors, and it should not "rashly" take more restrictions on such imports, Wang stressed.
Against the background of the still unstable global recovery, Wang urged the United States to exercise restraint in using trade protection tools, and observe multilateral rules to make positive contributions to global economic and trade order.
"If the United States' final decision affects China's interests, we will take necessary measures to defend our rights," Wang said.
President Trump is required to make a decision on the steel recommendations by April 11, and on the aluminum recommendations by April 19.