Mon, Jan 30, 2017 - Page 6 News List

China accuses EU of protectionism over steel taxes

TRADE DEFENSE:The EU Commission included Taiwan in a measure to impose taxes of 30.7 to 64.9 percent on certain Chinese steel products for flooding global markets

AFP, BEIJING

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

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

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

It comes as protectionist US President Donald Trump promises to crack down on China’s dominance of world trade, prompting a vigorous defense of globalization by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.

However, China’s commerce ministry said the EU move was in breach of WTO 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 on Friday in a statement.

The European Commission said its investigation confirmed that Chinese and Taiwanese stainless steel tube and pipe butt-welding fittings had been sold in Europe at dumped prices. 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 million to 150 million tonnes of capacity — out of a total of 1.2 billion tonnes — 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 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Brussels now has more than 100 trade defense measures in place, 39 of them targeting unfair imports of steel products, of which 15 are Chinese.

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