The Ministry of Commerce yesterday announced it would extend anti-dumping duties on chloroprene rubber, a kind of synthetic rubber, from the United States, European Union and Japan. This action will not have a severe impact on the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue as Beijing has been exercising restraint on anti-dumping measures against the US in view of the talks, said international trade lawyer Edmund Sim. In 2005 the Ministry of Commerce imposed anti-dumping duties of 10 to 20 per cent on chloroprene rubber, which is used in the production of laptop sleeves, orthopaedic braces and fan belts. In response to requests from Chinese producers of this synthetic rubber, the duties were extended for another five years starting from May 10, said the ministry's website. 'If the anti-dumping duties are lifted, dumping of chloroprene rubber by US, EU and Japanese firms will resume, and damage to Chinese producers can occur again,' the website said. Anti-dumping duties of 10 to 20 per cent have a significant impact on chloroprene rubber imports as its profit margins are slim, said Sim, a partner in international law firm Appleton Luff. '[But] this case won't have a major impact on the US-China talks.' The annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the world's two biggest economies started in Washington yesterday and will end today. The effect of the anti-dumping action on the US is relatively mild as it is the smallest exporter of chloroprene rubber, while Japan is the biggest, Sim said. 'If the Chinese government had imposed anti-dumping duties on US cars last week, that would have had a major impact on the talks. This case is less so.' On May 5, the Ministry of Commerce ruled that the US has been dumping subsidised sedans and SUVs on the mainland market and said the action had harmed the Chinese car industry. However, the ministry said it would not impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on US vehicles until further notice. Part of the reason for the ministry withholding anti-dumping and countervailing measures on cars was to avoid a negative impact on the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Sim said. Trade disputes are expected to be part of the agenda at the current round of talks. China has been on the receiving end of most anti-dumping measures, mostly from the US.