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EU Cuts Duties on Chinese Screws to Maximum 74.1% After WTO Case

The European Union cut tariffs on screws and bolts from China to take account of a World Trade Organization ruling against elements of the EU decision to apply the levies.

The EU reduced the duties on Chinese iron or steel fasteners to a maximum 74.1 percent from as high as 85 percent after China won a WTO dispute over the trade protection. The taxes punish Chinese exporters including Gem-Year Industrial Co. for selling the fasteners -- used for everything from automotive parts to furniture -- in the 27-nation bloc below cost, a practice known as dumping.

The EU imposed the anti-dumping duties for five years in January 2009 to curb competition for European fastener manufacturers such as Italy’s Fontana Luigi SpA, prompting the Chinese government to complain to the WTO. In December 2010, the Geneva-based global trade arbiter ruled against aspects of the European measures and gave the EU specific remedies.

The revised duties, published today in the EU Official Journal, range from 22.9 percent to 74.1 percent, depending on the Chinese company. The original levies ranged from 26.5 percent to 85 percent.

Separately today, the EU threatened to renew five-year anti-dumping duties on industrial salts from China to protect German manufacturers while letting similar levies against the U.S. and Taiwan lapse.

The EU began a review of whether to re-impose the duties as high as 71.8 percent on imports from China of peroxosulfates, used to treat water and metals. The levies against China will stay in place during the probe, which can last as long as 15 months.

The EU let expire after five years anti-dumping duties on U.S. peroxosulfate makers including DuPont Co. as well as Taiwanese producers. Those rates were 10.6 percent against DuPont, 39 percent against FMC Corp. and any other U.S. exporters, and 22.6 percent against manufacturers in Taiwan.

Other industries that use peroxosulfates, which are also known as persulfates, include electronics, paper, textiles and cosmetics.

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