BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union imposed tariffs on Chinese producers of glass fibre fabric in China and Egypt after finding they had benefited from unfair subsidies that allowed them to sell at excessively low prices in Europe.
The European Commission, which oversees trade policy in the 27 EU countries, said in a report published on Monday that the companies had received preferential lending, artificially cheap land and electricity and various grants and tax breaks.
The companies include two Egyptian subsidiaries of state-owned China National Building Materials Group Corp (CNBM) [CNMGC.UL], marking the EU’s first look into whether Chinese aid is unfairly helping Chinese companies based abroad. It normally only considers subsidies from the host government.
Combined with related anti-dumping duties, the EU will apply tariffs of 30.0% to 99.7%, the higher rates applying to China-based companies and the lower rates to the operations in Egypt, the EU official journal said. The tariffs are backdated to Jan. 22. The commission found the market share of the producers in China and Egypt rose to 31% in 2018 from 23% in 2015, while their average sales price fell by 14%.
Glass fibre fabrics have a wide range of applications, such as in wind turbine blades, boats, trucks and sports equipment.
EU producers include Belgium’s European Owens CorningFiberglas, France’s Chomarat Textiles Industries, Germany’sSaertex and Finland’s Ahlstrom-Munkzjo Glassfibre (AHM1.HE).
The commission is also looking into alleged unfair subsidies received by CNBM subsidiary Jushi in Egypt regarding glass fibre reinforcements. It set provisional duties of 8.7% in that case. Final findings are due in July.
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Nick Macfie