CHINA’S Commerce Ministry said yesterday it “regrets” the European Commission’s decision to put anti-dumping duties on Chinese cold-rolled steel plates, the latest spat between the trade partners battling a global steel glut.
China’s steel industry, a major employer, has struggled to meet targets to reduce its overcapacity, and rising prices for steel have encouraged firms to ramp up production for export.
Rival producers have accused China of selling in export markets at below cost after slowing demand at home, forcing job cuts and plant closures elsewhere amid a global crisis in the industry.
The commission said yesterday that it would levy retroactive anti-dumping duties on imports of certain cold rolled steel products from China and Russia after a year-long investigation triggered by a claim from European steel lobbying group Eurofer.
“In the wake of the global steel overcapacity crisis, the commission is applying the trade defense instruments to re-establish a level-playing field between EU and foreign producers,” it said in an emailed statement.
The duties of between 19.7 percent and 22.1 percent on Chinese firms Angang Group and Shougang Group would weaken the European Union’s downstream manufacturing competitiveness, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
“This move amplifies legal uncertainty and gravely affects normal international trade,” the ministry said.
It called on the EU to “avoid abusing trade remedies and sending a wrong signal” to the world, and added that it was willing to work with the EU to appropriately handle current problems facing the steel industry.