China hikes anti-dumping tax rate 10 times to get back at US

On Friday, China announced that it would increase anti-dumping duties on certain alloy-steel seamless tubes and pipes of high temperature and pressure, which were usually imported from the United States and the European Union. High temperature and high pressure alloy steel and seamless steel tubes imported from the western region were mainly used in supercritical and ultra-supercritical boilers and steaming-water pipes in power stations.

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC), the anti-dumping tax rate to be levied on import of tubes and pipes from US would range from 101 percent to 147.8 percent, while rates for EU companies would be between 57.9 percent and 60.8 percent. The renewed rate came into effect on Friday.

China, the world’s largest steel producer and consumer, started imposing the anti-dumping tax on the grounds that the products were being dumped by foreign companies on the Chinese market at below market prices. Beijing laid the tax for the first time in 2014, charging 13-14.1% tariffs on companies sending alloy-steel seamless pipes from the US and the EU. The tax, which expired on May 10, 2019, was brought back into the picture after last year’s review, which showed that such dumping still existed. The new tariffs are 10 times more than the previous rates.

The decision to hike the anti-dumping tariff was executed after a request from the Chinese domestic steel tubes and pipes sector, MOC said in a statement.

In 2018, Chinese industry, Inner Mongolia North Heavy Industries Group Corp. Ltd. said in a complaint filed to the Ministry of Commerce: “Despite the (earlier) anti-dumping measures, producers in the EU and the United States … further cut export prices in order to expand and maintain their market shares in China.” The company supported its argument with data, showing European and US products forming more than 50 percent of the specialty pipe and tubing market in China in the first quarter of 2018. It also highlighted that their import prices dropped by nearly 14 percent to $5,786 per ton as compared with prices in 2014.

Beijing announced this retaliatory move in response to US implementing higher duties on about $200 billion of goods arriving from China, last week. Trade analysts said that the move is taken with an aim to punish US and foreign firms cutting off supplies to telecoms giant Huawei. The latest move is believed to further escalate the ongoing US-China trade dispute.


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