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European Union; China; World Trade Organization: EU Deems Anti-Dumping Duties on Steel imports from China Discriminatory

(Sept. 13, 2013) On August 16, 2013, the European Union (EU) requested that the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva decide on a dispute between the EU and China arising from anti-dumping duties imposed by China on imports of high-performance stainless steel seamless tubes (HP-SSST) from the EU. The tubes are used mainly in super heaters and reheaters of supercritical or ultra-supercritical boilers in power stations. The EU challenged the legality of the anti-dumping duties on procedural and substantive grounds, after discussions held in July 2013 with China failed to answer the EU’s questions. (Press Release, European Commission, EU Requests WTO Panel on Chinese Anti-Dumping Duties on Steel Tubes (Aug. 16, 2013), EUROPA.)

Pursuant to EU estimates, exports of these tubes to China were worth some €90 million annually for the EU in 2009. However, the amount fell to under €20 million by November 2012, when China began imposing anti-dumping duties. Since then, duties of 9.7% to 11.1% imposed on imports of steel tubes from the EU have had a negative impact on the tube suppliers access to the Chinese market. (Id.)

EU Trade Spokesman John Clancy stated:

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. The Chinese case was brought shortly after a European case against Chinese steel imports. Given [their] obvious technical weaknesses, we are confident that the WTO will support our claims against these anti-dumping duties. (Id.)