BEIJING — On Sept. 27, China began investigating complaints that American chicken products are being dumped in China and are unfairly benefiting from subsidies, according to The Associated Press. The probe was launched to look into imported broiler products and chicken products, following requests by Chinese companies claiming the imports are hurting the domestic industry, the Commerce Ministry said.

This investigation comes at a time when Washington and Beijing have been accusing the other of protectionism, which both say will hurt efforts to end the global economic crisis.

Last week a U.S. labor union and three paper companies announced they had filed a new trade complaint over imports of Chinese paper. The move came one week after Beijing filed a World Trade Organization challenge to Washington's decision to raise tariffs on imports of Chinese-made tires. Both governments also are involved in disputes over access to each other's markets for steel pipes, music and movies.

At a recent Group of 20 trade summit, China played down growing trade tensions with the U.S., saying the two trading partners must focus on long-term relations and settle their differences through friendly talks.