(Adds more comments from ministry official)
BEIJING, Feb 4 (Reuters) - China is disappointed at continued high U.S. tax rates on Chinese steel products and will take necessary steps to protect the rights of its enterprises, a Ministry of Commerce official said on Saturday.
The United States moved closer to slapping duties on imports of stainless steel sheet and strip from China this week, issuing a final determination that the products were being subsidised and dumped in the U.S. market at below fair value.
Wang Hejun, head of the trade remedy and investigation bureau at China's Ministry of Commerce, questioned the way in which the U.S. anti-dumping investigation is being conducted
"In the anti-dumping probe, investigating departments disregarded the cooperation of the Chinese government and Chinese enterprises," Wang said in a statement.
The U.S. has flouted World Trade Organization rules by ignoring evidence offered by Chinese companies and has treated them unfairly because of their state-owned-enterprise status, Wang said.
The U.S. Commerce Department has affirmed anti-dumping duties ranging from 63.86 percent to 76.64 percent on the imports which will go into effect for five years if the U.S. International Trade Commision subsequently affirms its earlier finding that U.S. producers were being harmed.
The commission is due to make its final determination on or about March 20.
The main cause of the challenges facing the steel industry is the sluggish world economy and falling demand, which calls for global cooperation not protectionism, Wang said. (Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes and Alexander Smith)