BEIJING, June 21 (Reuters) - Mexico has set duties on seamless steel tubes from China, the Asian giant’s commerce ministry said on Friday, after a Mexican steel company complained about unfair pricing practices.
The decision, effective from Friday, is a victory for TAMSA, the Mexican arm of steel company Tenaris, which had complained last year about price differences between Chinese-made seamless steel pipes and Mexican ones.
The tariff is set at $1,252 per tonne and will not exceed 56 percent of the customs duty price after tax, the commerce ministry said in a statement.
In 2010, Mexico imposed anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese seamless steel tubes, often used for oil and gas pipelines. At the time, the economy ministry said the tubes were entering the country at below-market prices, hurting the national industry.
China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of steel, has been repeatedly cited by its major trade partners, such as the United States and the European Union, for alleged dumping in its massive exports of steel products.
TAMSA had filed its probe request in late September, citing “considerable volumes of imports of seamless steel pipes from China which entered the domestic market under discriminatory price terms,” Mexico’s economy ministry said in the Official Gazette.
Last October, Mexico accused China of breaking World Trade Organization rules by providing tax breaks and other favorable deals to its own clothing and textile businesses.
Mexico’s government has voiced worry about its massive trade deficit with China, largely caused by an influx of manufactured goods. More than 15 percent of Mexico’s imports came from China last year, worth roughly $57 billion, while just 1.5 percent, or $5.7 billion, of Mexican exports went to the Asian giant.
Mexico and China have been direct competitors to supply the U.S. market with manufactured goods and Mexican producers have fought to keep the Chinese off their turf.