Measure follows investigation into Chinese EV subsidies.
The EU reportedly plans to launch an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese steelmakers, according to the Financial Times (PDF), citing two officials familiar with the matter. The officials added that the U.S. asked Brussels to take position against Chinese steel in return for no reimposition of tariffs on steel originating in the EU stemming from the Trump Era, lifted under President Biden.
Despite the EU already having implemented tariffs on multiple steel categories to prevent China from price-dumping, the European steel industry said they were insufficient. Axel Eggert, director-general of Eurofer, representing the sector, asserted to the Financial Times: “Traditional trade defense instruments are not able to tackle this. We have used them for 50 years, and it hasn’t worked. Global excess capacity is fueled by governments. We need a new tool.”
The move is seen as a defense of the European industry from cheap foreign competition and follows a probe into subsidies for Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) launched last week. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke of markets “flooded with cheaper Chinese electric cars,” made possible by state-funded subsidies. The Commission last week also published a list of technologies crucial to economic security, which it plans to subject to risk analysis. The list includes advanced semiconductor technologies, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and biotechnologies, but also technologies for extracting, processing, and recycling of critical raw materials.