Wednesday

18th Oct 2017

EU imposes anti-dumping duties on China and Russia

  • EU imposed 36.1 percent the maximum rate on Russian companies (Photo: Renate Meijer)

The EU on Thursday (4 August) imposed anti-dumping measures against some China and Russia steel following industry complaints from the European Steel Association.

"They will be in place for five years and for the first time will also be levied retroactively," EU commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters in Brussels.

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The sanctions, levied on steel sales from last December onward, hit cold rolled steel used in products like cars and washing machines.

Andreeva said the move was needed "to fight unfair imports of steel products."

The EU commission had also provisionally imposed tariffs in February.

The latest duties range up to 22.1 percent for Chinese and up to 36.1 percent for Russian companies.

China's steel groups Shougang and Angang along with Russian operators Severstal and Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works are among those targeted.

China produces around half of the world's steel supply and had pledged to cut production earlier this year.

But Bloomberg reports the Chinese and Russian companies have allegedly sold some €4.5 billion, below market cost in the EU.

EU countries say the below market costs and subsidies put thousands of jobs at risk.

Europe's €166 billion steel production annual turnover accounts for 1.3 percent of the EU's GDP and directly provides 328,000 jobs.

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem earlier this year accused Chinese firms of overproduction.

China's commerce minister, for its part, said on Thursday it regretted the EU commission decision.

"This move amplifies legal uncertainty and gravely affects normal international trade," the ministry said, in a statement.

China, late last month, also imposed five-year anti-dumping duties on steel imports from the EU, Japan, and South Korea.

The Chinese tariffs hit grain-oriented electrical steel, used in the manufacture of large generators and electricity transformers.

Opinion

Steel overcapacity crisis - from Europe to China

While the debate has escalated about China’s steel overcapacity, it is not exactly new. The first postwar steel crisis occurred in the US and Europe. Beijing seeks to avoid a deja vu of bad policies.

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