Liu Zhongtian, Chinese billionaire has been indicted in the US over allegations that he evaded $1.8bn (£1.5bn) in tariffs on aluminium imports.
The Chinese billionaire doubles as Asia’s largest manufacturer of aluminuim extrusions. He is also facing a 24-count indictment listing charges of conspiracy to sell into U.S. entities he secretly controlled; as well as evasion of the anti-dumping tariffs imposed in 2011.
First of all, United States Attorney, Nick Hanna said in the statement that:
“This indictment outlines the unscrupulous and anti-competitive practices of a corrupt businessman who defrauded the United States out of $1.8bn in tariffs due on Chinese imports,”
“Moreover, the bogus sales of hundreds of millions of dollars of aluminium artificially inflated the value of a publicly traded company, putting at risk investors around the world.”
Furthermore, reports reveal that a warrant has been drawn up for Mr Liu’s arrest. Nonetheless, the 55 year old billionaire is not in custody. According reports the Chinese billionaire is in China. A country which does not have an extradition treaty with the US.
The charges, most noteworthy, were made during on-going trade war between the two states. Consequently, U.S. officials tied the charges to bigger economic issues and President Donald Trump’s trade policies.
Correspondingly, most of the charges has a maximum prison term of 20 years. The case has become one of the largest tariff-related cases brought by the US Justice Department. This comes at a testing time for US-China trade relations.
Increase in tariffs on Chinese products by president Trump
President Trump recently pulled the trigger on a steep increase in tariffs on Chinese products. Trump got a briefing from his trade negotiators after the first day of talks with the Chinese side, but made no move to hold off on the tariffs.