China accuses U.S. of protectionism in proposed probe on steel deal

13:52, July 20, 2010      

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A proposed investigation of a Chinese steel-maker's investment plan in the United States has politicized a business deal and is protectionism, Yao Jian, spokesman of Ministry of Commerce, said Tuesday.

Yao was commenting on Anshan Iron and Steel Group's (Ansteel) plan to establish a joint rebar venture with an U.S. partner in Mississippi, but 50 U.S. congressmen have requested that Washington investigate the deal.

"It is inappropriate for some U.S. lawmakers to label regular business behavior as a move that threatens national security," Yao said.

He urged politicians and industrial communities in the United States not to politicize a regular commercial deal.

"I hope the United States can create a better investment environment for Chinese enterprises," he said.

In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner early this month, the congressmen said the proposed join venture threatened "American jobs" and "national security."

Ansteel planned to have a 14-percent stake in the 175-million-U.S.-dollar joint venture with the Steel Development Co. in Amory, Mississippi, which would create jobs and increase tax revenues and local supplies, it said in a statement on July 7.



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