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China opposes US steel tariffs

BEIJING, Sep 10 – China on Thursday condemned a US decision to slap tariffs on steel pipes from the Asian giant, saying it "strongly opposed" the move.

"China is highly concerned over this matter. We strongly oppose such trade protectionist moves," a commerce ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on what action China would take, if any, in response to the US move, saying the ministry could make an additional statement later in the day.

The US Commerce Department said Wednesday it had made a preliminary decision to impose duties of as much as 31 percent on Chinese carbon or alloy tubular steel products used in oil and gas wells, following claims they were backed by unfair subsidies.

From 2006 to 2008, imports of such pipes — officially known as oil country tubular goods (OCTG) — from China increased 203 percent by volume, the statement said. They were valued at 2.6 billion dollars last year.

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