The European Commission has published definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of certain hot rolled stainless steel sheets and coils (SSHR) originating in Indonesia, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan (Regulation 2020/1408).
The European Steel Association (EUROFER) welcomes the measure as a first step towards restoring a level playing field and securing a sustainable future for the European stainless industry, but says the Commission must apply trade enforcement rules in full, given the spirit and intention of the revised EU trade defence instruments adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2018.
The European Commission Implementing Regulation largely confirms existing provisional measures and imposes definitive anti-dumping duty rates of 17.3% on SSHR imports from Indonesia, up to 19% on imports from China, and up to 7.5% on imports from Taiwan. The investigation leading up to these measures was initiated in August 2019 following a complaint submitted by EUROFER.
Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER said, “Indonesia, China and Taiwan have a structural overcapacity problem. Their dumping has seriously harmed European stainless steel producers and these measures are necessary. However, by not disapplying the Lesser Duty Rule the European Commission has failed to fully apply the revised Trade Defence Instruments (TDI) rules. They must do so without inhibition if they want to effectively tackle third country trade distortions and save EU industry and the jobs it supports”.
The EU’s trade rules were only revised two years ago after a half-decade long process. Robust TDIs ensure that the EU can defend industry and citizens against dumping and harmful trade-distorting practices.
“Although the Commission’s investigation clearly established that significant raw material distortions exist in China and Indonesia, the Commission has failed to lift the Lesser Duty Rule, and imposed final anti-dumping duties at the lower level of the injury margins”, said Mr Eggert. “However, the dumping margins range from 17.7% to 106.5% for Chinese and Indonesian producers, so the effect of massive distortions has been ignored”.
The recently opened investigation into imports of stainless steel cold rolled flat products originating in Indonesia and India will be another opportunity to enforce trade rules properly and send the right signal to third-country producers and their governments that deliberately ignore WTO rules and continue to build up excess capacity.
Now that definitive measures have been imposed, EUROFER calls on the Commission to remain vigilant with regard to any attempts by Indonesian, Chinese and Taiwanese exporters to engage in circumvention or absorption.