They said they also expected the anti-China lobby in the US to pressure the White House on other aspects of America’s economic ties with the People’s Republic.
Mei Xinyu, an expert in international trade at China’s Ministry of Commerce, said that chances of a “steel war’ erupting between Washington and Beijing were now “fifty-fifty”
“A step like this by the leaders of the US steel industry is quite logical, but I don’t think that such a 'steel war' is imminent. US steel imports have been going up since January, but the share of Chinese steel there is comparatively small and it keeps shrinking. Therefore, any US attempts to make Chinese exports the target of an official probe would look absurd,” Mei Xinyu said.
He added that curbing steel imports would mean the perpetuation of the US steel industry’s backwardness while China would hardly feel the pinch as the US is not the main buyer of Chinese steel in the world.
Many analysts believe that as a result of the appeal by the CEO’s of Nucor Corp, US Steel, ArcelorMittal, Commercial Metals Co, AISI and other US steel giants, Washington could hike up import tariffs on steel and aluminum up to a whopping 80 percent.
In an interview with Sputnik China, Deputy Director of the US and Canada Institute in Moscow, Viktor Supyan said that despite the recurring threats of a trade war between the US and China, the two countries are economically too closely intertwined; with Chinese-made products accounting for up to 80 percent of the US consumer market.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post wrote that Beijing was ramping up its anti-American rhetoric and that in
August alone it had launched two probes into the import of US fiber-optic products and was now mulling over the use of anti-dumping duties to limit their presence on the Chinese market.