The EU on Friday hit China with anti-dumping duties on two types of steel imports as Europe tries to cope with a global steel glut largely driven by massive Chinese output.
The measure is part of an EU push against China, which makes more than half the world’s steel, for allegedly flooding world markets with steel and aluminum in violation of international trade agreements.
The European Commission said the levies, which if confirmed run for five years, concern hot-rolled flat steel and heavy plates of steel.
“The commission today decided to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of two steel products from China, in a swift reaction to unfair competition,” the commission said in a statement.
The commission is “making full use of the instruments available in the EU anti-dumping legislation,” it added.
Hot-rolled steel is a primary product that is then converted to make finished goods, from automobiles to refrigerators.
The commission said the duties on hot-rolled steel would run between 13.2 percent and 22.6 percent and between 65.1 percent and 73.7 percent for heavy plates.
“This should restore the profitability of the European heavy plates’ producers and prevent damage to the companies involved in the production of hot-rolled steel products,” the commission said.
The EU has had a series of trade disputes with China, its second-largest trading partner.
Brussels now has more than 100 trade defense measures in place, 37 of them targeting unfair imports of steel products, of which 15 are Chinese.
Beijing has not been slow to respond to what it sees as unfair measures and has imposed its own anti-dumping tariffs on a series of steel imports from the EU, Japan and South Korea.