EU to slap antidumping duty on Chinese steel rods   |  

BRUSSELS, Jan 14 (Reuters) – European Union trade officials will vote in favour on Thursday of imposing temporary antidumping duties of 25 percent on imports of Chinese-made steel wire rods, diplomats said.

“You can bet your house on it. Temporary tariffs of 25 percent will be voted through,” one diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton will propose the tariffs at a meeting of trade officials from the 27 EU states.

The meeting follows a complaint from European steel producers that Chinese exporters get an unfair edge because suspected subsidies in China’s steel industry give them cheap raw material.

The extra duties would take effect next month and remain in place for six months. The European Commission, which oversees the bloc’s trade policy, must then decide whether to propose “definitive duties” lasting at least five years.

Trade disputes between Brussels and Beijing are on the rise since the EU’s trade deficit with China has ballooned, hitting 160 billion euros ($212 billion) last year.

In December, the EU’s antidumping committee voted to adopt import duties of up to 87 percent on screws and bolts from China.

(Reporting by Darren Ennis)
Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:47pm GMT