China's Ministry of Commerce has begun an investigation into whether there have been some "unfair" imports of chicken products from the United States, advancing a case it had first revealed in mid- September.

 

The ministry said Sept. 13 that it was examining complaints from domestic companies that some chicken-product imports are being dumped in the Chinese market and benefiting from subsidies, after the United States said it would impose duties of 25 percent to 35 percent on Chinese tire imports for the next three years.

Beijing has protested the tire tariffs, saying they aren't in the interests of both nations. But it has also tried to keep bilateral ties on a steady keel, signaling its commitment to resolving the issue through international law by taking it to the World Trade Organization.

 

Chinese President Hu Jintao told President Obama last week that Beijing hopes such sanctions won't be used again, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu. Hu looks forward to Obama's November visit to China, said Ma. 

 

The ministry said it will make decisions over the chicken product issue based on laws and facts, according to the statement. It added the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations are likely to end by Sept. 27, 2010, but could be extended to March 27, 2011. 

 

It added it will investigate claims the U.S. government helped U.S. chicken-product exports in 10 ways, such as providing subsidies on export credit guarantees or subsidies under programs to boost exports.