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China 'Highly Concerned' At Retroactive EU Steel Duties

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

09 August 2016

On August 4, the European Union (EU) decided to impose definitive anti-dumping duties (ADs) on steel imports that, for the first time, will be levied retroactively.

The definitive ADs have been imposed on imports of cold- rolled steel from China and Russia registered during the two months that preceded the adoption of provisional measures on February 12, 2016. The duties range from 19.7 percent to 22.1 percent for Chinese manufacturers/exporters, and from 18.7 percent to 36.1 percent for those from Russia.

The European Commission said that, in the wake of the global steel overcapacity crisis, the EU has applied the trade defense instrument to re-establish a level-playing field between EU and foreign producers. The EU currently has over 100 trade defense measures in place. 37 target imports of steel products, 15 of which target China specifically. It added that 12 more investigations concerning steel products are still ongoing.

Cold-rolled steel is an industrial input for the packaging, white goods, automotive, and construction industries, and, in its comments on the EU action, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said that it will significantly increase European domestic prices for the product and, thereby, "weaken the competitiveness of the EU downstream manufacturing."

However, MOC also showed particular concern over the European Commission's decision to implement the ADs retroactively. That, it noted, "increases legal uncertainties and seriously affects normal international trade," and it called on the EU "to keep its promise to avoid the abuse of trade remedy measures."

The Ministry also stated that the Chinese Government is willing "to strengthen communication with the EU and properly solve the current problems facing the global steel industry by means of a coordinated response."

TAGS: Russia | tax | European Commission | anti-dumping | China | manufacturing | import duty | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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