The head of International Affairs for the Riva steel group, David Valenti, confirmed the producer would find things more complicated if the World Trade Organisation (WTO) chooses to back China in its current dispute with the European Union.
The disagreement is about China’s recognition as a market economy, which would mean they would have the challenge of respecting antidumping measures required by European authorities when exporting.
The Riva group produces machine wire, concrete rounds, merchant bars and welded trellises. It has around 15 sites in Europe, including the Thy-Marcinelle factory in Charleroi. It produces around 62,000 tonnes annually. Foreign competition, especially from China, meant they lost part of their market percentage in 2016. “Prices for Chinese products are 20 to 30% lower. Antidumping rights, which equals about 24% for our products today, help us make that up slightly”, David Valenti said.
The future of antidumping rights is far from certain, says Hugues Bayet, a PS EMP who visited a Riva group site on Saturday. Current antidumping practices were based on those used in a so-called substitution country system. They could disappear if the WTO makes the European Union recognise China as a market economy, which it has refused to do up to now.
At the same time, the European Commission and European Parliament are re-examining some anti-dumping measures. The propositions on the table include reducing the length of the procedure that applies anti-dumping measures, and increasing the rights.