The Obama administration is expected to launch a complaint against Chinese aluminum subsidies with the World Trade Organization on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said.
The complaint will likely add to rising trade tensions between the world's two largest economies as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office next week with pledges to reduce U.S. trade deficits with China as a top priority.
The complaint, to be filed by the U.S. Trade Representative's office, is expected to cite "artificially cheap loans" from Chinese banks and artificially low-priced inputs for Chinese aluminum makers including electricity, coal and alumina.
It will cite such subsidies contributing to excess Chinese capacity and hurting American workers and companies, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is not yet filed.
The pending complaint follows an October request for a WTO case against China's aluminum trade practices by the two U.S. senators from Ohio, home to several U.S. aluminum producers, and six other senators.
China has rapidly expanded its aluminum production capacity in recent years and currently produces more than half the world's aluminum. This has driven price declines that have reduced the number of operating U.S. aluminum smelters to five from 14 since 2008, causing the loss of 15,000 U.S. aluminum production jobs, the senators said in October.