EU news: Bloc set to spark trade war with China as Brussels plot tariffs over ‘dumping’ | World | News


The bloc is set to impose tariffs on imports of screws in response to claims that they are being sold by China at artificially low prices. The practice, known as “price dumping”, endangers production in the EU as it drives sales towards the cheaper products.

An anti-dumping tariff of 86.5 percent is set to be introduced on imports of screws from China from February.

Screws, bolts and washers are an essential component of many electrical products, such as washing machines, solar panels, combine harvesters and cars.

But the new tariffs proposed by the European Commission would almost double their price, with the wholesale industry warning the legislation may mark the end of products made in Germany.

The Association of Screws Wholesalers (FDS) warned the consequences would be felt across a variety of sectors.

It said: “The consequences will be felt in schools, in the food industry and in the health sector, where school desks, cooling devices and medical devices are held together by fasteners.”

Without the right screws, none of these end products could come onto the market, the manufacturer warned.

However, the legislation is subject to a vote of EU member states.

Speaking about the potential for member states to vote down the legislation, Alexander Kolodzik from the FDS said: “For us this is the last hope.”

READ MORE: Joe Biden warned China will ‘strike back’ after Beijing fury

In 2009, the Commission therefore imposed anti-dumping duties of 85 percent, but had to lift them in 2016 following a lawsuit by China leveraged through the World Trade Organization (WTO).

China claimed the EU had used unrepresentative figures to justify the tariffs.

Tensions between China and the West have grown in recent weeks after the United States announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in response to “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: “The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”

The UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — which together with the U.S. make up the Five Eyes intelligence alliance — have confirmed they will also not be sending officials to the Games, which start on February 4, though their athletes will still take part.

But the EU is yet to announce a unified response, after France said it would not be taking part in the boycott, dismissing it as “insignificant”.

Additional reporting Monika Pallenberg.



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