BEIJING (AP) - China's paper industry association urged the United States to scrap new tariffs on Chinese paper, criticizing the measure Wednesday as a violation of free trade.
The Bush administration, facing increasing anger over soaring trade deficits, said Friday it would impose the tariffs on Chinese coated high-gloss paper.
''We hope the U.S. side will abandon the discriminatory policy against the Chinese paper industry, reconsider the decision and correct it as soon as possible,'' the Chinese paper association said on its Web site.
The statement did not say how the duties would affect domestic paper producers.
The U.S. Commerce Department imposed penalty tariffs ranging from 10.9 percent to 20.4 percent on imports of glossy paper from China. The tariffs will take effect next week on a preliminary basis and will become final after a further review by the department is completed in June.
The decision ''was a protectionist practice and was against the principle of free trade,'' said the paper association.
The growing U.S. trade deficit with China is a major source of irritation for U.S. lawmakers. American manufacturers say China keeps its currency undervalued by up to 40 percent, giving its exports an unfair price advantage.
The latest U.S. decision reversed 23 years of precedent by imposing the penalties on a non-market economy such as China.