Monday

20th Nov 2017

Focus

Nuts and bolts: WTO ruling helps China in EU dumping wars

  • China says it should automatically get market economy status at the end of 2016 (Photo: olekvi)

Trade arbitrators have said the EU wrongfully imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese screws, in a verdict which could help China’s bid for market economy status.

The decision, on Monday (18 January) by the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO), ends a seven-year legal battle.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The EU imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese iron or steel screws, nuts, and bolts in 2009 on grounds that China sold them at below-market prices to undercut competition - a practice known as “dumping.”

The sanctions, according to the Reuters news agency, prompted Chinese exports of the products to the EU to fall from $1 billion in 2008 to some $200 million a year.

The Chinese ministry of trade said on Monday: “The measures have had a negative effect on exports from China of around $1 billion and more than 100,000 jobs.”

Market economy

The WTO ruling comes amid talks on whether the EU should recognise China as a market economy - a decision which means Europe could no longer impose anti-dumping levies.

The European Commission, last week, postponed its recommendation on the issue, now expected in the second half of the year.

EU sources say the Dutch EU presidency, Germany, and Nordic countries support granting the status on grounds it would boost Chinese investment in Europe.

But Germany wants safeguards for vulnerable European industries, such as textile, steel, and solar panel producers, while Italy is strongly opposed.

The US, for its part, has warned the move would cost the EU up to 3.5 million jobs and a 2 percent contraction in GDP.

But China says that, under the terms of its WTO accession in 2001, it should get the status “automatically” by the end of 2016.

Speaking on the WTO ruling from Beijing on Monday, Fu Donghui, a partner at Chinese law firm Allbright Law Offices, said, according to Reuters: “I think it will be a major boost for Chinese market economy status at the end of the year.”

Further action?

The Chinese trade ministry also indicated it might take “further action” - to seek financial compensation or to impose trade sanctions on the EU - if Europe doesn’t comply with the screws verdict.

The EU, last year alone, initiated 22 anti-dumping investigations against China.

The products targeted include: hand pallet trucks; solar panels; polyester yarn; iron and steel tubes; PET (a kind of plastic); aluminium wheels; sodium gluconate; silicon; ceramic foam; sodium cyclamate; molybdenum wires; aspartame; biodiesel; cold-rolled flat steel; steel-concrete reinforcements; and tartaric acid.

Divided EU debates China market economy status

The EU Commission will, on Wednesday, debate the sensitive issue of China “market economy status,” with nerves jangling in European industry over cheap Chinese goods.

Stakeholder

China is making good stories not bad ones

China has been reforming, improving and transforming, making "good stories" for the benefit of its 1.3 billion people and the common good of humanity.

China's 'new era' means balance with EU

Under Xi Jinping's second term as leader, China wants more equality with the US and the EU, while waiting for Europeans to show their global clout.

Supported by

News in Brief

  1. European Banking Authority will move to Paris
  2. EU court threatens daily fine over Polish forest logging
  3. EU medicines agency will move to Milan or Amsterdam
  4. Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Milan in next round of EMA vote
  5. Three countries pull out of medicines agency Brexit race
  6. Schulz calls for new German elections
  7. EU Commission 'confident' on German stability
  8. EU adopts new border check rules

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!
  2. Dialogue PlatformErdogan's Most Vulnerable Victims: Women and Children
  3. UNICEFEuropean Parliament Marks World Children's Day by Launching Dialogue With Children
  4. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  5. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  7. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  8. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  9. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  11. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  12. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017