BRUSSELS – The European Union is set to impose tariffs on aluminum from China in October, only to have them suspended for nine months, the EU industry association said on Wednesday, saying it would threaten jobs and send a wrong signal to Beijing.
The European Commission launched an investigation in August 2020 into aluminum flat-rolled products used in a variety of sectors from construction to transport and consumer durables and has set provisional tariffs between 19.3 percent and 46.7 percent in April 2021.
The fixed charges, which are likely to be between 14 per cent and 25 per cent, will normally be applicable for five years from October. However, following complaints from two aluminum users and an importer, they are set to be suspended for nine months, European Aluminum said.
The commission said its investigation is still underway, with definite measures, if any, required to be implemented by October 11. It said it had received a suspension request and was considering it in consultation with EU member states.
No final decision was taken, it said.
European aluminum director Gerd Goetz said in a statement that the development had shocked the aluminum and other industrial sectors.
“How can European industries rely on urgently needed trade enforcement measures when the floodgates for high-carbon, dumped Chinese products remain open so willingly?” he said.
The commission has only suspended tariffs on a few occasions, the last being in 2009 relating to shipments of the chemical glyphosate from China.
The new suspension request points to market conditions that have changed since the initial complaint was filed in mid-2020.
Like many commodities, aluminum prices have risen as economies rebounded. European Aluminum says that although the EU’s capacity is sufficient to supply the market and the sector’s profit margins are tight.
by Philip Blenkinso
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times