Beijing urges EU to be cautious with response to US steel curbs

Xinhua
China's Ministry of Commerce hoped the EU would be cautious with the use of restrictive trade measures after the EU announced an investigation into imported steel products.
Xinhua

China’s Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that it hoped the European Union would be cautious with the use of restrictive trade measures after the EU announced an investigation into imported steel products.

The European Commission yesterday said it had launched an inquiry into imports of a number of steel products in response to United States restrictions on steel and aluminum.

Wang Hejun, head of the ministry’s trade remedy and investigation bureau, said China understood that the EU was taking necessary measures against the latest US move on steel and aluminum products. But adopting global protective measures was not the right choice, Wang said.

The inquiry will further exacerbate trade disorder and chaos caused by the US steep import tariffs, exerting more serious and destructive impacts on the normal international trade order, Wang said.

Necessary measures will be taken to defend the interests of Chinese enterprises, Wang added.

As a key power in global trade, “the EU should fight against protectionism in cooperation with other members, instead of resorting to actions that impair global trade order,” he said.

China will seriously assess the impact of the US and EU measures on China, and will take corresponding measures when necessary, to firmly safeguard the interests of Chinese companies, Wang added.

The EU investigation concerns products of all origin, the Commission said, adding that the procedure can result in imposition of import tariffs or quotas that would shield EU producers from “excessive imports” if necessary.

The Commission said imports of certain steel products have been increasing, and may be even stronger now that the access to the US market has been limited and steel products from other parts of the world previously destined to the US may be redirected to Europe.

The investigation covering 27 steel product categories will in principle be concluded within nine months, said the Commission, adding that should provisional measures prove necessary, they can be adopted at short notice.

The Commission said investigation procedure follows strictly multilateral rules in trade defense tools recognized by the World Trade Organization.

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