Beijing Orders Tariffs On Nylon Imports

BEIJING (AP) -- China will impose tariffs of up to 36 percent on some imported nylon products to protect its domestic industry from suspected dumping in Beijing's latest maneuver amid trade spats with the U.S.

The decision applies to Nylon 6, or polycaprolactam, from the United States, European Union countries, Russia and Taiwan, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement posted Tuesday on its Web site.

The tariff rate set on U.S. companies is much higher than that for other countries and comes ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to China next month.

The tariff, a preliminary antidumping measure, will affect companies including BASF Corp., the U.S. affiliate of German chemical manufacturer BASF S.E., and Honeywell Resins & Chemical LLC, according to the statement.

The ruling is China's latest salvo in trade spats with the United States after Obama announced up to 35 percent duties on China-made tires, to be imposed for the next three years.

China responded to the tire tariffs by filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization and launching antidumping investigations into imports of U.S. auto parts and chicken products. It was already investigating Nylon 6 imports.

The trade disputes will be among topics under discussion at a China-U.S. trade and commerce meeting later this month in the eastern city of Hangzhou, Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said last week.

Nylon 6 is used to make many products such as toothbrushes, socks and robes. Starting Tuesday China will require foreign nylon makers to pay the tariff as a security deposit, the ministry said.

China's imports of Nylon 6 surged from 183,000 tons in 2005 to 402,300 tons in 2007 and rose another 21 percent in the first nine months of 2008, the ministry said.

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