China yesterday said it has started imposing anti-dumping tariffs on certain steel imports from the EU, Japan and South Korea, as Beijing itself comes under fire for similar trade practices.
Duties on the materials, used in power transformers and electric motors, are to range from about 37 percent to as high as 46.3 percent, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on its Web site.
The measures are intended to prevent the sale of the product at below cost, a practice known as dumping, it added.
The world’s second-largest economy, which makes more than half the world’s steel, finds itself under attack by EU countries for allegedly flooding world markets with steel and aluminum in violation of international trade agreements.
Earlier this month in Beijing, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pledged to defend the group’s steel industry against China using “all the means at our disposal.”
He also said there was a “clear link” between the steel issue and the EU’s decision on whether to grant China “market economy status” — a prize eagerly sought by Beijing.
China has been pressing the EU to grant it the status — which would make it harder for the bloc to levy anti-dumping tariffs — before the year’s end, citing WTO rules.
China’s announcement is the latest in a tit-for-tat fight with other countries over the special metal known as oriented electrical steel.
In May last year, the EU imposed similar duties on imports of Chinese oriented electric steel, as well as products from other countries.
The decision prompted China to launch an investigation into imports from European manufacturers.
China has imposed such duties before. In 2012, the WTO ruled that Chinese duties on high-tech steel from the US violated trade rules. Last year, the organization censured Beijing for continuing the practice despite the judgement against it.
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