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TRADE WARS
China condemns EU for new steel anti-dumping duties
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 10, 2017


EU slaps China with new steel anti-dumping duties
Brussels (AFP) June 9, 2017 - The European Union imposed new anti-dumping duties on steel products from China on Friday, as it broadens its campaign to protect struggling steel manufacturers in Europe.

The EU took the latest action against China, which makes more than half the world's steel, for allegedly flooding global markets in violation of international trade agreements.

The European Commission, the EU executive, said it imposed duties of up to 35.9 percent on Chinese hot-rolled flat steel used in shipbuilding, gas containers, pressure vessels, tubes and energy pipelines.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said the commission is trying to level the "playing field" with China and stop the damage to European producers.

"We are continuing to act, when necessary, against unfair trading conditions in the steel sector, and against foreign dumping," Malmstroem said in a statement.

In January, the commission slapped anti-dumping duties on stainless steel tube and pipe butt-welding fittings, which are used to join steel pipes and tubes.

They are commonly used in industries such as food processing and shipbuilding as well as energy and construction.

The EU has had a series of trade disputes with China, its second-largest trading partner, but is also seeking to resolve the stand-off over steel with Beijing through the OECD, the Paris-based group of developed economies.

The commission said its investigation found that Chinese industry benefits from preferential lending, tax rebates and other financial help that allow for exports to the 28-nation bloc at artificially low prices.

Brussels now has more than 100 trade defence measures in place, 40 of them targeting unfair imports of steel products of which 15 are Chinese.

China has condemned the European Commission for imposing new anti-dumping duties on its steel products, accusing the EU's executive of making China an industrial scapegoat.

The 28-nation bloc said on Friday that it would levy duties of up to 35.9 percent on Chinese hot-rolled flat steel in an attempt to create a level playing field with China as it broadens its campaign to protect Europe's struggling steel manufacturers.

The EU alleged China, which makes more than half the world's steel, has flooded global markets in violation of international trade agreements.

According to the EC, Chinese producers benefit from preferential lending, tax rebates and other financial help that allow exports to the EU at artificially-low prices.

But China said the bloc's action stemmed from a misunderstanding of China's financial loan system and trade trends.

"The European Commission ignores the fact that China's steel exports to Europe clearly declined in 2016, using China's steel overcapacity as an excuse to claim that China's hot-rolled flat steel products threaten to damage industry in the EU when that is mere speculation with little bearing on reality," Chinese commerce ministry official Wang Hejun said in a statement Friday.

"China strongly questions the legitimacy and legality of the European Commission's ruling."

The EU has had a series of trade disputes with China, its second-largest trading partner, but is also seeking to resolve the stand-off over steel with Beijing through the OECD, the Paris-based group of developed economies.

In January, the Commission imposed anti-dumping duties on China's stainless steel tube and pipe butt-welding fittings.

Like hot-rolled flat steel, the products are commonly used in shipbuilding as well as energy and construction.

Wang noted that China has not only refrained from subsidising steel exports, but also adopted several measures to control them.

"It is biased and unfair for Europe to blame China for its own industrial issues," he said.

"Unjustified accusations and reckless trade rescue measures will not help to solve the problem."

TRADE WARS
Chinese exports, imports beat forecasts but analysts wary
Beijing (AFP) June 8, 2017
China on Thursday posted a forecast-busting surge in exports and imports in May, signalling improvement in the world's number two economy, but there were warnings Beijing would struggle to maintain its momentum. The readings will come as a relief after a series of weak readings suggesting a recent pick-up could be fizzling, while there are also lingering concerns about US President Donald Tr ... read more

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