Friday

15th Nov 2019

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan politicians extradition hearing postponed
  2. Germany: EU banking union deal possible in December
  3. EIB: no more funding of fossil-fuel projects
  4. UK defence chief: Russia could trigger World War III
  5. Hungary's Varhelyi will face more questions
  6. Police put former Berlusconi MEP Comi under house arrest
  7. MEPs criticise Poland for criminalising sex education
  8. UK will not name new commissioner before election

Opinion

Merkel's China challenge - distance but engagement

The German chancellor's visit to China starts Thursday. She must signal to Beijing that Europe is serious and united in its newly critical approach to China - and show Washington that there are less destructive ways to deal with differences.

Supported by

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. Key moments for new commission This WEEK
  2. EU threatens legal action against UK over commissioner
  3. Corruption in the Balkans: the elephant in the room
  4. Green MEPs unconvinced by Romanian commissioner
  5. EU states fell short on sharing refugees, say auditors
  6. Hungary's commissioner-to-be grilled over loyalty to Orban
  7. Widow's plea as EU diplomats debate Magnitsky Act
  8. Leftist MEPs call on EU to address crisis in Chile

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us