EU slaps steel import duties to counter Chinese subsidies

The European Commission has decided to impose definitive anti-subsidy duties on hot-rolled flat steel from China. It confirmed those types of Chinese steel will now be taxed up to 35.9%. […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The European Commission has decided to impose definitive anti-subsidy duties on hot-rolled flat steel from China.

It confirmed those types of Chinese steel will now be taxed up to 35.9%.

Hot-rolled flat steel is used in gas containers, pressure vessels, energy pipelines, tubes and shipbuilding.

The Commission’s investigation found the Chinese industry benefits from preferential lending, tax rebates and other substantial financial injections that allow it to export to the EU at artificially low prices, “creating a threat of imminent economic damage to EU producers, whose profitability sharply decreased”.

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “We are continuing to act, when necessary, against unfair trading conditions in the steel sector and against foreign dumping. With today’s deicision, we take another instrument from our trade defence toolbox, to shield our industry from damaging effects of unfair foreign subsidies.

“I hope our decision and the discussions at the Global Forum dedicated to the problem of steel overcapacity will eventually convince China to remove its unfair schemes to ensure a level playing field for all steel producers.”

According to Chinese media, the government has condemned the Commission for imposing new anti-dumping duties.

China’s Commerce Ministry reportedly said the Commission ignores the fact the nation’s steel exports to Europe declined last year, adding it will take all the necessary measures to protect the interests of Chinese companies.

This year the Commission also imposed anti-dumping duties on stainless steel tube and pipe butt-welding fittings, heavy steel plates and seamless pipes from China.

It is also running anti-dumping investigations on imports of hot-rolled steel from Brazil, Iran, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.