The Trump administration launched a fresh trade attack against China on Tuesday, with Washington initiating an anti-dumping investigation against a major trading partner for the first time in more than a quarter century amid fears that it is preparing for the opening skirmishes of a trade war, the Financial Times reports.
The move to “self-initiate” an anti-dumping investigation into imports of aluminum sheeting from China marks the first time since 1985 that the US Commerce Department has launched its own investigation without a formal request from industry. The last case was brought by the Reagan administration against Japanese semiconductor imports and came at a time of high trade tensions. A parallel investigation launched Tuesday into illegal subsidies given to the Chinese sheet industry marks the first time since a 1991 Canadian lumber case that the Commerce Department has self-initiated a probe into subsidies. Trump has been facing growing criticism over delays in trade actions he promised to take against China.