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China trade body confirms challenge to U.S. aluminium foil tariffs

BEIJING, Aug 14 (Reuters) - A Chinese metals industry association confirmed on Monday that the nation's aluminium sector would mount a legal challenge to the U.S. Department of Commerce's preliminary decision to impose antidumping tariffs on imports of Chinese aluminium foil.

The aluminium sector will "take the necessary measures to safeguard the industry's interests," the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said in a statement, adding that it was organising a joint defence by foil-exporting companies.

Reuters reported last week that the association was spearheading the defence, which groups 12 firms, after the United States slapped Chinese foil exporters with antidumping tariffs of 16.56 percent to 80.97 percent.

Documents reviewed by Reuters last week show that Shanghai-based Loften Aluminium, China's largest foil exporter to the United States, was hit with the highest tariff and will have to foot the biggest share of legal costs at nearly 19 percent.

The association on Monday urged U.S. authorities not to harm the interests of Chinese businesses and downstream U.S. aluminium companies with unilateral trade measures.

Ignoring how the two countries' aluminium sectors complement each other would lead to a "lose-lose" outcome, it said.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce last week urged Washington to act "prudently" in the aluminium foil row. A final ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce is due in October..

The case is separate from the U.S. commerce department's "Section 232" investigation into whether China's large aluminium production capacity, and alleged dumping and subsidies, threaten U.S. economic security. (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Tom Hogue)