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Chile Takes a Stand: Slaps Up to 33.5% Tariff on Chinese Steel

Daniel Kim Views  

Chinese steel exports to Central and South America have increased by 88 times in comparison to the year 2000

AP-Yonhap

The Chilean government has decided to impose anti-dumping duties of up to 33.5% on cheap Chinese steel subsidized by the Chinese government.

The Chilean Anti-Competitive Market Distortions Office for the Prevention of Price Distortions announced on the 22nd (local time) that it would impose provisional tariffs of up to 24.9% on Chinese rebar and up to 33.5% on forged steel balls.

This measure was requested by major Chilean steel product companies CAP (Compania de Acero del Pacifico) and Molycop. CAP halted operations at its Huachipato plant in Bio-Bio Province last month, citing problems with cheap Chinese steel products causing ‘cut-throat competition.’

The Bio-Bio provincial government and local labor unions have called for federal solid government measures, warning that “up to 22,000 jobs could be lost”.

According to the Korean Embassy in Chile, the Huachipato plant is currently supplying materials for the Chacao Bridge construction project being carried out by Hyundai Construction, and there were concerns that the project could be affected.

CAP has decided to rescind its decision to halt operations following the government’s tariff imposition policy.

Since 2016, the Chilean government has imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel products six times.

However, as products were imported into Chile at lower prices from mainland China under the Chinese government’s subsidy policy, Chilean companies have been calling for more proactive measures from the government, fearing they could go out of business.

On the 17th, US President Joe Biden also directed the US Trade Representative (USTR) to consider tripling tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products, pointing out China’s unfair trade practices.

Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and other Central and South American countries are also struggling with the influx of ‘Made in China’ steel.

According to data from the Latin American Steel Association (Alacero), China’s share of the regional steel market increased from 15% in 2000 to 54% last year.

Alacero pointed out that the scale of Chinese steel exports to Central and South America last year was around 10 million tons, a whopping 8700% increase from 85,000 tons in 2000.

Mexico also surprised the world by announcing last August that it would raise tariffs by up to 25% on imported steel produced in countries without a trade agreement (TA).

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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