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Steel firms oppose EU tariffs

(Global Times)
Updated: 2016-11-16 09:31

    The EU is trying to protect its uncompetitive low-end steel industry, but rising protectionism is not the way, a vice president of a Chinese steel industry body told the Global Times after the EU imposed new temporary tariffs on imports from China.

    The EU decided to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on seamless pipes and tubes made of iron and steel from China, news portal neweurope.eu reported on Monday.

    The products are typically used in power plants, in construction, and in the oil and gas industry.

    To provide EU companies with the necessary breathing space, the European Commission (EC) imposed duties ranging between 43.5 percent and 81.1 percent to prevent damage to European companies involved in the production of these steel tubes and pipes, according to the report.

    Li Xinchuang, vice president of the China Iron & Steel Association, said that the action was "brutal and blind," and protecting the low end of the industry is not helpful for downstream sectors.

    The EC's investigations confirmed that the Chinese products had been sold in Europe at heavily dumped prices.

    The investigation was initiated in May 2016, following a complaint submitted by the industry.

    The EC will decide within the coming six months whether these measures would become definitive and apply for a period of five years.

    The EU currently has an unprecedented number of trade defense measures in place targeting unfair exports of steel products from third countries, with a total of 40 anti-dumping and countervailing duty measures, 18 of which concern products originating from China, according to the report.

    On Monday, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that China will achieve major progress in the steel sector's structural overhaul by 2020 and "fundamentally bail out" the industry.

    China plans to reduce crude steel output by 100 million tons to 150 million tons by 2020 and ease the uneven supply-demand situation in the sector, according to the ministry's 2016-20 plan on upgrading the steel sector.

    The whole sector will be modernized and its energy consumption and pollutant emissions will be within the national standards by 2020, said the plan.

    Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corp has completed ahead of schedule its yearly target for 2016 on cutting overcapacity by reducing its crude iron capacity by 3.19 million tons and crude steel capacity by 4.42 million tons, according to media reports Tuesday.


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