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File photo: A man holds a charging plug to charge a car at a Smart Charge electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Beijing, China February 2, 2024. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File photo

EU extends trade guide on Chinese distortions to new sectors


EU extends trade guide on Chinese distortions to new sectors

By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has updated its report on state-led distortions in the Chinese economy, adding new sectors and potentially opening the door to anti-dumping complaints from EU chip and clean-tech producers.

The update, published on Wednesday and stretching to 712 pages, adds details of what the EU executive considers to be distortions in sectors of telecom equipment, semiconductors, the rail industry, renewable energy and electric vehicles.

It retains the steel, aluminium, chemicals and ceramics sectors of the initial report in 2017. There is no similar EU report for any other country.

The report is a tool for EU industries to use when filing complaints about dumping practices. If Chinese prices and costs are found to distorted, they can be replaced with those from another country to calculate normally higher dumping tariffs.

“This could be taken as an invitation to sectors that have not yet brought anti-dumping complaints to explore their use,” said Laurent Ruessmann, partner at trade law firm Ruessmann Beck & Co.

The Commission has typically launched about 10 anti-dumping investigations per year, many concerning steel products.

It is now looking to shield EU firms from cheap clean-tech products, with a review of subsidies received by Chinese wind turbine suppliers and an anti-subsidy investigation into imports of Chinese electric vehicles.

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The report, however, will not play a part in these investigations as it only concerns dumping.

The report covers the role of the Chinese state in planning to meet economic objectives, the importance of state-owned enterprises, preferential access to land, labour, raw materials and energy and state support for specific sectors.

In most sectors, including electric vehicles, it refers to Chinese overcapacity.

China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, said in March the government would take steps to curb overcapacity. Beijing argues the recent U.S. and EU focus on risks from China’s excess capacity is misguided. Its state media has denounced these concerns as part of an effort to limit China’s rise.

 

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

 

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