- Title: Thousands of citizens demonstrate in Brussels over China's steel dumping in Europe
- Date: 9th November 2016
- Summary: BANNER WITH 'STOP' SIGN / DEMONSTRATORS DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING FLAGS AND BANNERS DEMONSTRATORS WEARING STEEL WORKERS' PROTECTION CLOTHES
- Embargoed: 24th November 2016 12:45
- Keywords: EU steel protest China
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA00257Q5S93
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: About 15,000 European steel workers marched near the European institutions in Brussels on Wednesday (November 9), demanding better protection for the sector against what they say is "unfair competition" from China.
Protection against Chinese dumping is a central demand. Steel has been the focus of recent EU trade action against China, with many steel grades now facing duties.
The demonstration took place as the European Commission proposed a new way to assess whether Chinese manufacturers are exporting products such as steel at unfairly low prices in response to Beijing's demand for change by the end of the year.
"China does not fulfil the criteria for getting access to the European markets and if they get it then we are speaking here of about 330,000 steel workers today in Europe. We cannot compete with unfair competition, with unfair imports. So all the 330,000 jobs are at stake if we don't take the right measures. So the European Commission must take measures that still gives us the possibility to put tariffs on import of steel from China and to secure the future of our own European steel," said the General Secretary of the European trade union IndustriAll, Luc Triangle.
The European Union and many of China's other trading partners have been debating whether to grant China "market economy status" (MES) from mid-December, which Beijing says is its right 15 years after it joined the World Trade Organization.
"The European Commission is to give a market economy status to China, and if it does it means the opening without any constraints or conditions to Chinese steels. And that would mean the death of the European steel industry. We can't accept that," said the Secretary of Arcelor Mittal's European works council, Didier Zint.
For now, China is treated as a special case. EU investigators seeking to pinpoint dumping compare Chinese export prices to those of a third country, such as the United States, rather than to domestic prices in China.
The U.S. has warned China it has not done enough to qualify for market economy status. Beijing has insisted it be treated like any other WTO member. Not doing so is seen as risking a wave of litigation and a trade war.
EU trade ministers are expected to discuss the new anti-dumping measures at a meeting on Friday along with other plans to modernise the EU's trade defence arsenal.
The Commission's proposal, which would need approval from the 28 member states and the European Parliament to become law, says that in general the normal reference value in dumping cases involving WTO members would be the domestic prices.
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