WASHINGTON, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on Friday cleared the way for the U.S. government to continue anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations against imports of high-pressure steel cylinders from China.

The USITC determined that there was "reasonable" indication that a U.S. industry had been materially hurt by high-pressure steel cylinders from China, which were allegedly subsidized by the Chinese government and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

As a result, the U.S. Commerce Department will continue its antidumping and countervailing duty probes that began on May 31 against these Chinese products.

U.S. manufacturer Norris Cylinder Company has asked for anti-dumping duties of up to 176.25 percent to offset what it says is unfairly low prices charged by its Chinese competitors. The company also wants the U.S. government to impose additional countervailing duties on these Chinese products.

U.S. Commerce Department is expected to make its preliminary ruling on the countervailing duty investigation in August and on the anti-dumping duty investigation in October.

Steel cylinders are typically used for transporting, storing, and dispensing compressed or liquefied gas. The United States imported nearly 49 million U.S. dollars worth of steel cylinders in 2010.

As the U.S. economy is reviving at a near-jobless recovery pace, protectionism moves by the United States are also on the rise.

Editor: Deng Shasha

Source: Xinhua News