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Europe steelmakers file complaints against China
by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Jan 9, 2012

European steel-makers have filed an anti-subsidy complaint against cut-rate China imports blamed for undermining the EU industry, the European Steel Association (Eurofer) said Monday.

The complaint put to the European Commission on Friday is Eurofer's second recent move against Chinese steel imports after it called for an anti-dumping inquiry in November against organic coated steel from China, which is used in cars and construction.

The latest complaint is against "massive subsidisation" through preferential loans, grants, tax breaks and cheap supplies across the entire spectrum of the industry -- investment, production, sales and exports.

"Clearly the miracle of the Chinese steel industry, which now counts for almost 50 percent of global steel production, is not the result of free market forces," said Eurofer head Gordon Moffat.

"The Chinese government at central, provincial and local level owns, directs and subsidises virtually every aspect of its steel industry and has financed huge excess capacities," he said.

"By promoting a sector intrinsically lacking a genuine cost advantage, China continues to be the major cause of unfair competition in the global steel market, injuring in particular the European steel industry on the domestic and third markets."

Late November, Eurofer said in filing an anti-dumping complaint that imports of organic coated steel had increased from 0.5 percent in 2004 to 15 percent in 2011, with the products sold well below prices of EU and other producers.

The European steel industry has annual turnover of 190 billion euros ($242 billion) and employs 360,000 people in more than 500 sites in 23 European Union states.

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