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EU imposes import duties to counter Chinese subsidies on steel

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EU imposes import duties to counter Chinese subsidies on steel

Steel factory - Photo by Shymaa Rabea

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission imposed definitive anti-subsidy duties Friday of up to 35.9 per cent on Chinese hot-rolled flat steel used in shipbuilding, gas containers, pressure vessels, tubes and energy pipelines.

The Commission confirmed its determination to act whenever necessary against 'unfair trading conditions' in the steel sector, and against foreign dumping. "With today's decision we take another instrument from our trade defence toolbox, to shield our industry from damaging effects of unfair foreign subsidies," said Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem.

"I hope our decision and the discussions in the Global Forum dedicated to the problem of steel overcapacity will eventually convince China to remove its unfair schemes to ensure a level playing field for all steel producers," she added.

The EU executive says it investigation confirms that China's industry benefits from preferential lending, tax rebates and other substantial financial injections that allow it to export to the EU at artificially low prices.

This, it adds, creates "a threat of imminent economic damage to EU producers, whose profitability sharply decreased".

The anti-subsidy measure comes on top of over 40 anti-dumping decisions taken so far by the Commission to re-establish a playing-level field for European steel producers, including anti-dumping duties imposed on the same product in the beginning of April.

The Commission is also currently running an anti-dumping investigation on imports of hot-rolled steel from Brazil, Iran, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.

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