Brussels, 1 February 2016 – The European Steel Association (EUROFER) welcomed the European Commission’s imposition of provisional anti-dumping measures on imports of Chinese High Fatigue Performance (HFP) Rebar, but questioned their effectiveness in actually deterring wider Chinese dumping.
“The provisional measures – as low as 9% – cannot remedy the massive injury caused by Chinese HFP rebar import surges, which have captured 46% of the EU market from zero in less than two years”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER.
The Commission found that Chinese HFP rebar has been dumped on the European market by up to 66%. Yet, the duties imposed are only a fraction of the dumping margin. Unlike its major trade partners, the EU reduces the duties if the calculated level of the injury caused by the dumping is lower than the level of the dumping (known as the ‘Lesser-Duty rule’).
“The same HFP rebar anti-dumping investigation in the USA would, for example, have lead to the imposition of measures of up to 66%, reflecting the dumping levels without any downward adjustment”, highlighted Mr Eggert.
Mr Eggert continued, “The aim of the application of the Lesser-Duty rule – to limit duties to a level strictly necessary to address the injury suffered by the European industry from dumping – has clearly missed its objective. Duties as low as 9% are a drop in the Yellow Sea in terms of safeguarding EU industry from the flood of unfair imports from China.”
“This plays into the wider narrative around the granting of Market Economy Status (MES) to China. Were MES to be granted to the country, it would be even harder for the EU to calculate deterrent anti-dumping tariffs on unfairly traded Chinese goods”, added Mr Eggert.
Recognising the reality of the situation, the Commission has proposed lifting the Lesser-Duty rule when the exporting country imposes raw material export restrictions that create an artificial cost advantage for their exporters, as China does.
“Were this legislative proposal to have been adopted and applied to the HFP rebar case, the full dumping margin up to 66% could have been imposed, as China restricts metallurgic raw material exports such as iron ore, scrap and alloys”, concluded Mr Eggert.
“However, this proposal has been blocked by a minority of Member States, including by the UK, which is the only market for this product in Europe.”
About the European steel industry
The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 330,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 170 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 24 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.
Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.