Manufacturers in China are evading millions of dollars of US anti-dumping duties on steel wire products by exporting them via third countries, said an American industry group.
The US Coalition for Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders said it had developed "compelling evidence how certain foreign manufacturers [in China] are evading duties," it said.
In some cases, it said, they shipped the products via third countries and then "falsely designating it as the country of origin to evade the duties", a practice termed transshipment, the coalition said in a statement.
"In other cases, an inconsequential modification is made to the product in third countries to avoid the duties [or] false labels displaying a different country of origin are placed on shipments of products actually made in China," it said.
The coalition named the "third countries" as Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, Canada and Mexico.
The Hong Kong and Taiwan economies were also accused of being used by the China-based manufacturers to send the products to the United States in an apparent bid to evade duties.
The coalition, comprising six companies manufacturing steel wire products, said it had informed the US Government and lawmakers on the problem, adding that duty evasions had cost the authorities "at least $84 million (Dh308.2m) annually" and also "threatened jobs".
"These schemes are blatant and purposeful," said David Libla, President of Mid Continent Nail and a coalition member.
In the latest high-profile case in December, US authorities decided to impose countervailing duties of up to 16 per cent on imported steel pipes from China valued at $2.6 billion in 2008.
It was the largest countervailing duty case filed against China, based on the value of trade and drew strong criticism from Beijing.
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