The European Union today hit China and Russia with anti-dumping duties on cold rolled steel imports after complaints by EU producers they were being forced out of the market.
The European Commission said the levies, announced provisionally in February, will run for five years as Europe tries to cope with a global steel glut largely driven by massive Chinese output.
"In the wake of the global steel overcapacity crisis, the Commission is applying the trade defence instruments to re-establish a level-playing field between EU and foreign producers," it said in a statement.
Cold rolled steel is used extensively by industry to make all sorts of goods and appliances, from automobiles to refrigerators.
The Commission said the anti-dumping duties on Chinese cold rolled steel will range from 19.7 per cent to 22.1 per cent, and from 18.7 per cent to 36.1 per cent for Russian companies.
It said the EU has more than 100 trade defence measures in place, 37 of them targeting unfair imports of steel products of which 15 come are Chinese.
The EU has had a whole series of trade disputes with China, its second largest trading partner and which makes more than half the world's steel.
Beijing has not been slow to respond to what it sees as unfair measures and late last month imposed anti-dumping tariffs on some steel imports from the EU, Japan and South Korea.