China says EU should take steel dumping claims to WTO

*A labourer working at a steel market in Shanghai.

*A labourer working at a steel market in Shanghai.

07 February 2016, Beijing — China’s Ministry of Commerce said that claims it was dumping steel in Europe should be put to the World Trade Organization, WTO, responding to reports that the European Commission, EC, was preparing to impose duties on imported Chinese steel.

WTO members should fulfill their treaty obligations and stop using “surrogate countries” to pursue anti-dumping claims, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said, according to a statement released on the ministry’s website on Saturday.

The EC is set to impose provisional duties later this month of up to 16 percent on China, and of up to 26 percent on Russia, following its investigation into alleged dumping by the two countries.

Reuters reported that provisional measures are due to be announced by Feb. 14 and definitive duties, if imposed at the conclusion of the investigation, by Aug. 12. Such duties would typically apply for five years.

The Commission’s investigation follows a complaint from Eurofer, the European steel association, which said Russia and China were dumping the steel – selling it below market prices at home or below the cost of production – on the EU market and thereby damaging the local industry.

The global steel industry is facing over-capacity, and the Chinese government is willing to discuss “in good faith” with WTO members “to create a fair, just and predictable international market environment,” the statement said.
*Matthew Miller; Editing – Elaine Hardcastle – Reuters

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