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Thursday, October 15, 2015, 10:02

China regrets steel appeal ruling at WTO

By Reuters

GENEVA - China lost an appeal ruling on Wednesday in a World Trade Organization dispute over Chinese use of anti-dumping duties on high performance, seamless stainless steel tubes.

China's Commerce Ministry expressed "deep regret" about the ruling and said it would "appropriately handle" the case according to WTO regulations, in a statement posted to its website late on Wednesday.

A WTO dispute panel had largely ruled against China in February, but all three parties appealed, and the WTO's Appellate Body strengthened the case against China, reversing points where the panel had backed Beijing.

China had alleged that Japanese and EU makers of the tubes, which are used in coal-fired power plants, were selling their product at an unfairly cheap price in China, and in 2012 it imposed an "anti-dumping duty" to restrict their imports.

Japan and the EU complained to the WTO in a bid to support producers such as Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, Tubacex S.A in Spain and Salzgitter AG in Germany.

At the peak in 2008, Japan exported around US$224 million of the pipes to China while the EU made sales of US$283 million, according to a Reuters analysis of data from the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the WTO and United Nations.

In 2012, exports from both the EU and Japan were worth less than US$80 million, the ITC figures show.

The WTO appeal ruling is final and China will now be asked to bring its rules into line with global trade rules.

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