World Economy

China Accuses European Union of Protectionism Over New Steel Taxes

China Accuses European Union of Protectionism Over New Steel TaxesChina Accuses European Union of Protectionism Over New Steel Taxes

China has accused the EU of “protectionist” behavior after Brussels imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel products, as it seeks to protect struggling steelmakers in Europe.

The EU Commission said Friday it would impose taxes of between 30.7% and 64.9% on certain Chinese steel products, which it says are being sold at a loss in Europe, AFP reported.

The measure, which also applies to Taiwan, is part of a EU push against China—which makes more than half the world’s steel—for allegedly flooding global markets in violation of international trade agreements.

But China’s Commerce Ministry said the EU move was in breach of World Trade Organization rules and vowed to “take necessary measures to defend the fair rights” of Chinese companies.

“Imprudently taking protectionist measures is just another attack on international trade,” a ministry official said in a statement.

The ministry further said it had “serious doubts” about the decision, which had severely harmed the interests of Chinese companies, adding such protectionist moves would only damage global trade.

“China is willing to strengthen exchanges and communication with the EU side, to appropriately resolve the issues facing the steel industry at the moment,” it said.

The products are used to join pipes and tubes of stainless steel, and are used in industries including petrochemicals, food processing, shipbuilding, energy generation and construction, the European Commission said, Reuters reported.

The commission said it has an unprecedented number of trade defenses in place targeting unfair imports of steel products, with a total of 39 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, 17 of which are on products originating from China.

The EU has imposed anti-dumping duties on several Chinese steel products such as cold-rolled flat steel and stainless steel cold-rolled flat products.

The targeted products are used to join steel pipes and tubes and are commonly used in industries such as food processing and shipbuilding as well as energy and construction.

In the face of criticism, Beijing has vowed to eliminate 100-150 million tons of capacity—out of a total of 1.2 billion tons—by 2020.

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 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Paris-based group of developed economies.


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