China slaps anti-dumping tariffs on European, Japanese steel tubes

SHANGHAI Thu Nov 8, 2012 8:33pm EST

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China said it will impose five-year anti-dumping tariffs on high-performance stainless steel tube imports from the European Union and Japan, highlighting commercial tensions between Beijing and major trading partners.

The tariff will range from 9.2 percent to 14.4 percent and will become effective on Friday, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

China, the world's biggest steel producer and consumer, was repeatedly cited by major trade partners for alleged dumping in its massive exports of steel products before the financial crisis in 2008. China still relies on imports of some high-grade steel products.

The United States has set duties on Chinese steel products, including pipes, steel wheels and wire. In March, it said it would investigate possible Chinese dumping of stainless steel sinks.

In May, China issued a preliminary ruling saying that the EU and Japan have been dumping the seamless tubes into the Chinese market.

Trade relations between China and the European Union, China's biggest trading partner, have been tense due to the imposition of tit-for-tat anti-dumping tariffs.

Earlier this week, China lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization to challenge policies that Beijing argues favor firms in Italy and Greece.

China's business relations with Japan have also deteriorated in recent months after Japan purchased a few uninhabited islands located in the East China Sea that are claimed by both countries.

On Wednesday, the United States gave final approval for tax on solar-energy products from China for the next five years, protecting U.S. producers against lower-priced imports, and raising fears of Chinese retaliation.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Eric Meijerf)