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EU Puts Duties On Steel Rods From China, Moldova

The European Commission will place temporary duties on imported steel wire rods from China and Moldova while it investigates the matter to determine if permanent duties are necessary, European Union diplomats said Tuesday.

The duties will be about 25% on rods from China and about 4% for rods from Moldova, the diplomats said. Steel wire rods are used mainly in construction.

The move comes in response to a complaint from the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries, or Eurofer, whose members include steel giants such as ArcelorMittal (MT) and Thyssen Krupp AG (TKA.XE). The European companies said Chinese and Moldovan producers were dumping their products into the E.U. at prices below the cost of production.

The E.U. imported about EUR713 million worth of steel rods from these two countries in 2007, an E.U. diplomat said.

If the commission, the E.U.'s executive branch, decides permanent duties are necessary, it must seek approval from the 27 E.U. national governments.

The dispute is one of several on trade issues between the E.U. and China.

In another trade fight, Eurofer has withdrawn an anti-dumping complaint it filed with the commission over hot-dipped metallic coatings imported from China.

Chinese imports of these products, used in construction, automobile manufacturing and household goods, have fallen significantly with the slowing economy, making the complaint no longer necessary, said Eurofer spokesman Axel Eggert.



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