Mexican curbs 'singe' Chinese steel firms

Updated: 2015-12-23 07:58

By Zhong Nan(China Daily)

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Mexican curbs 'singe' Chinese steel firms

A technician checks steel plates at a Han-Steel Co Ltd unit in Handan, Hebei province.[Hao Qunying/For China Daily]

Anti-dumping probe will hurt producers in a number of countries, say industry sources

The China Iron and Steel Industry Association on Tuesday opposed Mexico's decision to launch an anti-dumping investigation into imports of corrosion-resistant steel produced in the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

The response came after Mexico's Ministry of the Economy announced last week that it will begin an anti-dumping investigation into imports of coated flat steel products from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Mexican steel producer Ternium Mexico SA demanded an investigation in September, claiming that shipments from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan surged between January 2012 and April 2015 and that threatened the market interest of local manufacturers.

CISA Vice-Chairman Wang Liqun said the association totally disagrees with the practices and viewpoints of the Mexican authority. Such behavior will hurt steel producers from a number of countries from long-term perspective, and disregards the fact that the global steel market has entered a fully competitive period.

Nine steel associations from countries including the United States, Canada and Brazil released a joint statement last month, claiming that the "global steel industry is currently suffering from a crisis of overcapacity and the Chinese steel industry is the predominant global contributor to this problem".

They also expressed their opposition to China's market economy treatment under World Trade Organization rules, which will be automatically accorded in December 2016.

Wang said overcapacity is a common issue in global steel industry restructuring, which requires the concerted efforts of all parties in the global steel industry.

Chinese steel mills have cut their production based on market demand. Their output declined by 2.23 percent on a year-on-year basis from January to October this year, a reduction of more than 15 million metric tons.

"To simply attribute difficulties in one country or region to Chinese enterprises is irresponsible, and it will not help solve the difficulties faced by the industry in their own country or region, and nor will it promote the healthy development of the global steel industry," said Wang.

China's steel exports amounted to 93.87 metric million tons in 2014, up 46 percent year-on-year. CISA predicted that China's steel exports will exceed 110 million metric tons this year.

Feng Yaoxiang, spokesman for the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said China's steel industry and its exports have no direct connection with the country's market economy status, and suggested certain countries stop actions to charge more tariffs on Chinese products based on the excuse of surrogate countries.

China agreed that other WTO members could regard it as a "non-market economy" for 15 years from Dec 11, 2001, as a condition of joining the WTO in 2001.

As the deadline of Dec 11, 2016, draws near, there have been disputes on whether China would be automatically recognized by other WTO members, based on different understandings of China's accession agreement.