EU Angers China on New Steel Price Probe
China has been angered by the European Union's decision to launch a new investigation into whether Chinese manufacturers are selling steel into Europe at unfairly low prices.
The European Commission has ruled that a complaint lodged by the EU's steelmakers association Eurofer regarding certain corrosion resistant steel needs a thorough investigation.
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According to the EU's official journal, the commission has also decided that it would initiate another anti-dumping probe into certain cast iron products from China and India. The commission is also set to determine whether the existing duties on Chinese steel seamless pipes and tubes should be allowed to continue for another five-year period.
China, in response, insisted that Europe's steel problems are down to the region's economic weakness.
Wang Hejun, a China Commerce Ministry official, said that Beijing was showing huge concern and a high degree of attention to the claim. He, however, insisted that Europe's trade problems could be attributed to the region's slow economic growth.
In a statement on the ministry's website, Wang urged Europe to analyze its steel problems with a rational eye, saying Europe "should not adopt mistaken trade protectionist measures that limit fair competition."
The European Union probe coincides with Beijing's 15th anniversary to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
China is fighting to be granted a market-status economy, as per the agreement it signed on joining the WTO.
If the US and other WTO members agree to start viewing Chinese prices as fair market value, they will find it much more difficult to challenge the country's cheap imports.
Meanwhile, the EU has currently put in place 40 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures in place, 18 of which are against Chinese products.