The Ministry of Commerce of China announced on Friday that China will introduce new taxes on imports of certain types of steel from within the European Union, with the aim to protect its domestic steel producers. The tax rate will range between 14.5 per cent and 46.3 per cent of the value the products. The reason behind the taxes is because several European countries, including France and Spain, have recently demanded the introduction of an anti-dumping duty on imports of steel from China, similar to those available in the United States. These anti-dumping duties were to protect themselves from unfair competition from Chinese steel producers, however, the Chinese tax will also affect Japanese and South Korean producers.
It is important to mention that the measure comes in the context of the crisis meeting held about the future of the British steel industry by British Prime Minister, David Cameron, on Wednesday. Last week, the Indian group Tata announced it will sell subsidiary company Tata Steel UK, a measure that endangers around 15,000 jobs. Tata’s plant in Port Talbot produces, among others, products which will be overcharged by the new Chinese levy. In 2014 China imported 1.5 million tons of steel from the EU and exported around 6.5 million tons.