EU weakens powers to hit Chinese imports with trade tariffs

New tariff rules on imports from China that could make it harder to discourage dumping of goods are set to be introduced by the European Union on Monday.
An updated system to calculate levies on imported goods being sold at below cost prices is expected to be rubber stamped by the EU.
The new system comes as China demands better treatment over its exports, bringing to an end the country being treated as a non-market economy, something which has helped the EU impose higher duties to stop trade dumping.
One sector seen as particularly at risk from the new regime is the steel industry. Britain’s steel companies were brought to their knees two years ago as a flood of subsidised steel from China poured into the country.
EU weakens powers to hit Chinese imports with trade tariffs

Imports of subsidised Chinese steel drove the UK industry into crisis
Other Chinese products which have levies imposed on them at the moment by the EU to prevent dumping include solar panels, aluminium foil, bicycles, screws and paper.
Changes mean it will be harder to for European companies to argue they are competing against subsidised competitors, with the new system more flexible in determining whether domestic producers are being undercut.
The new system will also affect nine other countries - including Belarus and North Korea - currently viewed by the EU as having non-market economies. 
“There’s going to be much more work for European industries to make their dumping cases,’’ said Laurent Ruessmann, a partner and trade expert in the Brussels office of law firm Fieldfisher, speaking to Bloomberg.  
“There’s a lot of discretion for EU trade authorities in the new system. The question is how that discretion is used and what the political influence will be.’’
EU weakens powers to hit Chinese imports with trade tariffs

Donald Trump has led America towards a more protectionist stance 
The move comes as the EU looks to improve trade ties with China. Currently the bloc is China’s second-biggest customer after the US, but under Donald Trump America has moved to a more protectionist stance.
EU legislators negotiated a deal in October and the full European Parliament offered its endorsement the following month, leaving national governments to give their final approval on December 4.
The legislation, due to be published on December 18, features elements of compromise between free-trade governments in northern Europe allied with China and more protectionist member countries in the south.
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