European ‘Anti-Dumping’ Investigation Could Mean 30% Duty on Chinese Alloys

While everyone has been focusing on the US-initiated anti-dumping tariffs against Chinese-made passenger car tyres, another anti-dumping investigation has escaped widespread coverage. On 13 August 2009 the European commission began an investigation into dumping allegations made against Chinese wheelmakers who allegedly sold products into the European markets beneath cost price. At the time 60 Chinese wheelmakers received notification of the impending investigation and most reportedly began cooperating straight away. Nevertheless, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce, the investigation is likely to cost Chinese wheel exporters an estimated US$390 million. There is still a chance that no tariffs will be implemented, but if they are they will apply across both the OE and replacement sectors and are predicted to be lie somewhere around the 30 per cent mark.

The European Commission’s investigation, which began just a day after the Chinese companies involved were informed of the allegations, followed a complaint made by the Association of European Wheel Manufacturers’ (EUWA) in June 2009. At the time the journal of the executive arm of the 27-nation European Union said the investigation was initiated “having determined that there is sufficient evidence to justify the…proceeding.” However, China's Ministry of Commerce denied the charges saying: “It raises the cost of repairs for customers, affects the recovery of the European auto sector from the global financial crisis, and hurts the interests of both China and Europe.” Either way, with Chinese produced wheels representing a significant proportion of replacement market products on offer, any kind of trade barriers that are implemented are likely to have a similarly significant effect on the shape of the market.

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