BEIJING – China’s ministry of commerce accused the European Union on Sunday of protectionism over new anti-dumping duties on two steel products from the Asian country.
“It is not a right strategy for the EU to adopt protectionism and impede competition,” the ministry said in a statement published by official news agency Xinhua.
The European Commission on Friday imposed new anti-dumping duties on imports of hot-rolled flat steel and heavy steel plates from China, in addition to the 15 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures the EU already has in place for imports of steel products from China.
The Commission said the decision was based on investigations that revealed that the Chinese products were sold in Europe at heavily dumped prices.
The Chinese ministry, however, rejected these claims and said that steel from China has no impact on the EU steel market due to its low market share of less than 5 percent.
The problems in the EU steel industry arose from weak economic conditions, not trade, the ministry added.
The ministry also expressed concern about the effects these measures could have on Chinese steel companies which, it said, have already suffered due to earlier trade measures by the EU.
“China is highly concerned about the trade remedy practices,” said the ministry, who asked the Commission to make its investigations more fair and transparent and to guarantee the rights of Chinese companies.