The European Union today (16 August) formally asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to rule in a dispute over Chinese anti-dumping duties on imports of high-performance stainless steel seamless tubes from the EU.
EU exports of the tubes, which are used mainly in power station boilers, were worth some €90 million in 2009, but fell to under €20 million after China imposed anti-dumping duties in November 2012. The European Commission says the duties of 9.7% to 11.1% imposed on imports of steel tubes from the EU are significantly hampering access to the Chinese market.
The dispute comes in the context of a number of tense trade disputes between the EU and China. A high-profile dispute over Chinese dumping of solar panel parts in the EU was resolved in July after China agreed to a minimum price and volume limit for the Chinese solar exports.
The threatened tariff was the largest in EU history.”The EU continues its fight against unjustified Chinese trade defence measures, which do not comply with WTO rules and often seem to be motivated by retaliation,” John Clancy, EU trade spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
Japan started procedures with the WTO regarding the tubes in December 2012. A WTO panel was established between Japan and China in May. The EU held consultations with China and Japan in June, but the three parties failed to resolve the dispute.The EU’s request will be discussed at the meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on 30 August.
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