Disputes over steel trade spike between Europe and China

World Today

A steel works assembly plant in China.A steel works assembly plant in China.

Trade disputes between China and Europe on steel products have spiked in 2016, and it’s been the same story in the past few years. The European Commission has issued a number of trade remedy measures against Chinese steel exports.

CCTV’s Ming Tian gave us this report.

Disputes over steel trade spike between Europe and China

Trade disputes between China and Europe on steel products have spiked in 2016, and it’s been the same story in the past few years. The European Commission has issued a number of trade remedy measures against Chinese steel exports. CCTV’s Ming Tian gave us this report.

European authorities have put up tough barriers against Chinese steel exports, especially in the past couple of years. According to the European commission, 16 out of 37 of its trade defense measures on steel products involve Chinese exports.

Analysts say it’s only a small part of trade between China and the continent. But the issue may cause tension in economic ties.

Both European and Chinese leaders addressed the issue in July. They agreed that steel output overcapacity is a global issue that can only be solved through cooperation and dialogue rather than with trade restrictions. The two sides also agreed to set up a joint platform to monitor reductions in steel output capacity worldwide.

Soon after, however, European policymakers doled out new protectionist measures.

On July 29th, the EU decided to levy a tariff of about 20 percent on Chinese thread steel exports, citing anti-dumping concerns. One week later, cold-rolled steel shipments to Europe were slapped with a 20 percent tariff. In October and November, further anti-dumping measures were imposed by the European Commission, targeted at hot rolled coil, and seamless steel products.

The European Commission says the region’s steel sector has seen employment plunge by over 10 percent from 2007 to 2011. The number of jobs in the industry has not returned to levels before the financial crisis.

Some analysts, however, say the European steel sector is hobbled mainly by the world’s sluggish economic recovery – not Chinese exports.