William Darmouth’s letter:
October 22nd 2015
RE: Imports of steel from China
Imports of steel from China entering the UK are being sold at a price lower than the cost of production. It is clear that China is dumping.
This has consequences. Already SSI has been forced to cut 2,200 jobs in the UK, and Tata Steel a further 1,200 jobs.
Robrecht Himpe, the president of Eurofer – the European Steel Assocation – wrote in a letter to the Times (22 October 2015) that “anti-dumping actions against China by major economies have increased by 60 per cent since 2010”. He wrote further that the EU’s process for implementing trade-defence measures against Chinese steel dumping “is far too slow and is resulting in the closures and job losses we have seen in the UK in the past week.”
In light of the above, I urge you as Trade Commissioner to effect anti-dumping duties on imports of steel from China entering the EU. These anti-dumping tariffs must be fully proportionate to be able to safeguard the UK steel industry (as well as the steel industry in other EU member states) from further damage occasioned by anticompetitive practices on the part of steel producers in China.
William Dartmouth MEP
EFDD Group Coordinator on International Trade
Cecilia Maelstrom’s response:
25th November 2015
I refer to your letter of 22 October regarding imports of steel from China and particularly dumping.
Cecilia Malmstrom’s response
Cecilia Malmstrom’s response
I fully share your concerns regarding the steel sector in Europe and the impact which cheap imports of the products from China and other countries are having on the European steel producers. It has been indeed proven that the Chinese producers are dumping some of the excess capacities on the European market. As a result, we have currently trade defence measures in place against fourteen steel products from China. At the same time there are also a number of new investigations ongoing concerning steel products from China, which may also result in the imposition of further trade defence measures.
I assure you that the Commission is ready to open anti-dumping cases if the steel industry asks us to do so, as long as they provide us with the necessary prima facie evidence that justifies the initiation of investigations. Our trade defence services are always available to provide any guidance to the industry in relation to the trade defence process. Each and every complaint brought by the industry will be examined thoroughly.
The Commission acts as quickly as possible, however, you must appreciate that this is a process, subject to legal requirements and scrutiny, not only by the Member States, but also the Courts and in some instances the World Trade Organisation. As a result, time is needed to ensure that any action taken is in line with the legislation and our international obligations. Measures Cannot be imposed without first establishing that dumping and/or subsidisation is taking place and causing injury to the European industry. That said, I assure you that where it is justified to impose measures it will be done.