U.S. Launches Probe into China's Maritime, Logistics, and Shipbuilding Industries

The U.S. has launched a probe into China's maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding industries, alleging unfair practices. China denies the claims, and the tensions come amid a global EV industry facing protectionism.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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U.S. Launches Probe into China's Maritime, Logistics, and Shipbuilding Industries

U.S. Launches Probe into China's Maritime, Logistics, and Shipbuilding Industries

The United States has launched a probe in 2024 into China's maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding industries, alleging unfair practices. The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) has deemed the probe groundless and unrelated to China's policies.

The U.S. claims that the alleged unfair practices by China are related to its policies, but the CCPIT has stated that the allegations are groundless and unrelated to China's policies. The probe comes at a time when the global electric vehicle (EV) industry is facing protectionism.

The U.S. has accused China of supporting Russia's military-industrial sector, which has allowed Moscow to boost weapons production for the war against Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China next week to discuss a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, the South China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait.

The CCPIT plans to arrange for companies from the supply chains to attend the hearings in the U.S. to legally defend the rights of Chinese companies. The U.S. claims that unfair Chinese trade practices, such as flooding the market with below-market-cost steel, are distorting the global shipbuilding market and eroding competition. However, the CCPIT argues that the downturn in the U.S. shipping industry is due to its own lack of competitiveness and has nothing to do with China.

Why this matters: The probe is part of a growing threat of trade restrictions from Western governments, targeting China's strategic industries such as electric vehicles, renewable energy, medical devices, and semiconductors. The tensions come at a time when Chinese stocks were starting to recover from a multi-year slump, and the geopolitical pressures are dampening the export growth drivers for China's economy.

The Chinese commerce ministry has strongly opposed the U.S. move, calling the accusations false and untenable. The CCPIT has submitted legal defense documents in U.S. trade investigation hearings against Chinese goods in the past. If the investigation determines that foreign practices have unfairly affected U.S. commerce, the U.S. may take appropriate action, including imposing duties and other import restrictions.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. launched probe into China's maritime, logistics, and shipbuilding industries in 2024.
  • China's trade body deems the probe groundless and unrelated to China's policies.
  • U.S. accuses China of supporting Russia's military-industrial sector amid Ukraine war.
  • China's trade body plans to defend Chinese companies' rights in U.S. hearings.
  • Probe part of growing trade restrictions from West, dampening China's export growth.