The European Union imposed tariffs as high as 66.4 perent on steel road wheels from China, targeting manufacturers such as Zhejiang Jingu Co. and Xingmin Intelligent Transportation Systems Co.
The duties punish Chinese exporters of steel wheels for vehicles including cars, light trucks, tractors and trailers for allegedly having sold them in the E.U. below cost, a practice known as dumping.
Dumped imports of steel road wheels from China caused “material injury” to E.U.-based manufacturers of the goods, the European Commission, the 28-nation bloc’s executive arm in Brussels, said on Thursday in the Official Journal.
The anti-dumping duties represent the preliminary outcome of a probe opened in February on the basis of a dumping complaint by the Association of European Wheel Manufacturers. The levies, due to take effect on Friday, will last for six months and may be prolonged for five years.
The E.U. has 11 manufacturers of steel road wheels, according to the commission, which took the unusual step of declining to identify any of them. European producers requested anonymity “on grounds of a fear of retaliatory measures by some of their customers,” the commission said.
Chinese exporters’ combined share of the E.U. market for steel road wheels doubled to 5.3 percent last year compared with 2015, according to the commission.
The rates of the provisional anti-dumping duties are 50.3 percent against 19 specifically named Chinese exporters -- including Zhejiang Jingu and Xingmin Intelligent Transportation Systems -- and 66.4 percent for all others.
Separately on Thursday, the commission threatened to stoke longstanding tensions with China over steel trade by opening an inquiry into whether Chinese producers of hot-rolled, stainless-steel sheets and coils receive market-distorting government aid.
The probe, due to last as long as 13 months, could lead to E.U. anti-subsidy duties on imports of these steel products from China. The bloc already has anti-dumping and/or anti-subsidy levies on a range of other products imported from China, the biggest producer of the metal with around half the world’s output.
In a third trade development on Thursday, the commission opened an investigation into whether South Korean exporters of heavyweight thermal paper are dumping it in the E.U. That probe, due to last as long as 14 months, could lead to European anti-dumping duties on the shipments from Korea.