The European Union has asked the World Trade Organization to rule on Chinese anti-dumping duties imposed on stainless steel tube imports it believes are in violation of WTO law.
The formation of a WTO panel to look into the allegations will be discussed at the organization’s meeting on August 30. Chinese officials are allowed to block the request, but if the EU asks again for a panel, objections from Chinese officials won’t be allowed.
The WTO has already held consultations about the anti-dumping duties applied to exports of stainless steel tubes from the EU and Japan, but these discussions haven’t satisfied EU officials.
"The EU continues its fight against unjustified Chinese trade defense 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," EU Trade Spokesman John Clancy said in a statement. "Given its obvious technical weaknesses, we are confident that the WTO will support our claims against these anti-dumping duties.”
Exports from Europe to China came in at around 90 million euros ($120 million) in 2009, but according to an EU press release, that number had dropped to around 20 million euros in November 2012, when the Chinese duties were imposed. Chinese officials started looking into a possible anti-dumping duty in September 2011, which was just a few months after the EU imposed an anti-dumping duty on Chinese stainless steel pipes, the EU said. - Jon Ross