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China Abandons Steel Import Tariffs

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

29 December 2003


The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has removed steel import tariffs of up to 26% introduced in November 2002. The 'safeguard' tariffs were imposed on five types of steel products imported from Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Russia, Taiwan and Ukraine. Responding to the US decision to abandon its controversial tariff scheme, the Ministry announced: "In view of the latest developments in the steel trade, the Ministry of Commerce has decided to terminate its safeguard steps starting December 26."

The five types of product covered by the tariffs accounted for up to 40 per cent of the 17 million tons of steel China imported in 2002. China exported 5.71 million tons of steel during the first 10 months of this year, an increase of 28 per cent over 2002, representing a very small proportion of its output, which increased by 20.48 per cent year-on-year to 191.87 million tons this year.

China imported 31.05 million tons of steel during the first 10 months of this year, up 51 per cent from the same period last year, and a further surge in imports is now expected, driving domestic steel stocks lower.


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