EU ripped over ‘un­fair’ new du­ties

The Com­merce Min­istry de­plores bloc’s moves on steels, truck tires

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHONG NAN zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion or EC must stop us­ing the “sur­ro­gate coun­try” method in anti-dump­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into im­ports from China and im­me­di­ately with­draw wrongly im­posed penal­ties on China’s steel, ceramic and pho­to­voltaic in­dus­tries, the Min­istry of Com­merce said on Fri­day.

Its com­ments fol­low Wed­nes­day’s anti-dump­ing du­ties of up to 28.5 per­cent by the EC on cer­tain cor­ro­sion­re­sis­tant steels from China.

The EC is the Euro­pean Union’s ex­ec­u­tive arm. Sur­ro­gate coun­try is a term used to de­scribe coun­tries found to have so-called mar­ket dis­tor­tions.

The EC im­posed the du­ties af­ter an eight-month probe, and claimed that Chi­nese cor­ro­sion-re­sis­tant steels ben­e­fited from un­fair gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies.

The EC also an­nounced on Fri­day that it will launch an anti-dump­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Chi­nese truck tire prod­ucts.

Wang He­jun, head of the trade rem­edy and in­ves­ti­ga­tion bureau at the Min­istry of Com­merce, said China’s truck tire prices dropped due to a fall in raw ma­te­rial prices in global mar­kets over the past two years.

So, Euro­pean truck tire man­u­fac­tur­ers’ ac­cu­sa­tions that their Chi­nese coun­ter­parts ben­e­fited from State sub­si­dies are un­founded and lack ad­e­quate proof, Wang said.

Ear­lier this year, the United States halted its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into China’s truck tire prod­uct ex­ports as it found they had caused no harm to its do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ers.

“The EU con­tin­ued the use of the un­fair and un­rea­son­able sur­ro­gate coun­try method in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. It has re­sulted in ar­ti­fi­cially de­ter­mined high anti-dump­ing du­ties on Chi­nese prod­ucts and there­fore se­ri­ously un­der­mined Chi­nese com­pa­nies’ in­ter­ests,” said Wang.

The new EU im­port du­ties on cor­ro­sion-re­sis­tant steels will range from 17.2 per­cent to 28.5 per­cent, and will af­fect Shougang Group, Sha­gang Group, Hes­teel Group and a num­ber of Chi­nese com­pa­nies.

“It was pro­vi­sion­ally con­cluded that the im­po­si­tion of mea­sures would con­trib­ute to the re­cov­ery of the Euro­pean Union in­dus­try by al­low­ing price in­creases, en­abling the sec­tor as a whole to re­turn to a prof­itable sit­u­a­tion,” the EC said in a state­ment.

Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers can chal­lenge the EU de­ci­sion within 25 days, that is by Sept 3.

Bai Ming, a re­searcher with the Chi­nese Academy of In­ter­na­tional Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion, said if the EU ful­fills its obli­ga­tions as per the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion’s rules and main­tains its sta­tus as a lead­ing ad­vo­cate of free trade within the WTO, it would be a win­win for both sides.

He said China and the EU share growth-re­lated goals, such as a bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment treaty and other treaties. They far out­weigh the cur­rent dis­pute about an­tidump­ing cases.

Huo Jian­guo, vice-pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute for WTO Stud­ies, said it is al­ways easy for politi­cians (in some coun­tries) to blame other coun­tries for their prob­lems, and ac­cuse other trade part­ners of de­stroy­ing their in­dus­tries or steal­ing jobs.

The EU con­tin­ued the use of the un­fair and un­rea­son­able sur­ro­gate coun­try method in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Wang He­jun, head of the trade rem­edy and in­ves­ti­ga­tion bureau at the Min­istry of Com­merce

LIU DEBIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A worker op­er­ates a pro­duc­tion line at a steel plant in Dalian, Liaon­ing province.

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