EU upsets China with new steel price investigation

Fri Dec 9, 2016 11:06am EST
 
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By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has launched a new investigation into whether Chinese manufacturers are selling steel into Europe at unfairly low prices, angering China which says Europe's steel problems are due to the region's own economic weakness.

The European Commission has determined that a complaint brought by EU steel makers' association Eurofer regarding certain corrosion resistant steel merits an investigation, the EU's official journal said on Friday.

The Commission also said it would start another anti-dumping investigation into certain cast iron products from China and India as well as determining whether existing duties on Chinese steel seamless pipes and tubes should continue for another five years.

The EU has already imposed duties on a wide range of steel grades to counter what EU steel producers say is a flood of steel sold at a loss due to Chinese overcapacity and partly the cause of 5,000 British job losses.

A China Commerce Ministry official said Beijing attached a "high degree of attention and concern" to the case and that Europe's steel problems were due to its own weak economic growth.

Wang Hejun, the head of the trade remedies investigation department, said in a statement on the ministry's website that Europe should rationally analyze its steel industry's problems.

"It should not adopt mistaken trade protectionist measures that limit fair market competition," he said.

The EU investigation begins just days before the 15th anniversary of China's accession to the World Trade Organization, when the country says new trade defense rules are supposed to kick in.   Continued...

 
A worker verifies a product at a steel factory in Dalian, Liaoning province, China September 1, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS