China “regrets” the European Commission’s decision to put anti-dumping duties on Chinese cold-rolled steel plates, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.
Chinese and Russian producers of non-stainless steels were hit by the European Union with five-year tariffs as high as 36.1 percent after the EU found that imports from the two countries unfairly undercut manufacturers in Europe such as ThyssenKrupp AG and ArcelorMittal.
“In the wake of the global steel overcapacity crisis, the Commission is applying the trade defence instruments to re-establish a level-playing field between EU and foreign producers,” it said in an emailed statement.
The definitive duties punish Russian and Chinese exporters of certain cold-rolled flat products of iron or non-alloy steel for allegedly selling the goods in the EU’s 4.5 billion-euro ($5 billion) market below cost, a practice known as dumping. The targeted producers of this kind of steel - used in products from washing machines and air-conditioning equipment to automobiles and power lines - include Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works OJSC, Novolipetsk Steel PJSC and Severstal PJSC; and China’s Angang Steel Co. and Shougang group.
The definitive five-year duties, which will take effect on Friday, follow the imposition of six-month, provisional levies in February.
Rival producers have accused China of selling into export markets at below cost after a slowdown in demand at home, forcing job cuts and plant closures elsewhere amid a deepening global crisis in the industry.
“This move amplifies legal uncertainty and gravely affects normal international trade,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement on its website
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.
Britain issued an emailed statement welcoming the duties and saying it would do all it can to protect its steel industry.
“It’s very positive to see these tariffs being imposed to stop unfair steel dumping,” a spokesman for Britain’s Business Department said. “The Prime Minister has been clear that we will do everything we can to look after workers in the steel industry.”