Hexun.com Lange Steel Research Center Wang Guoqing

A few days ago, the US Trade Representative Office (USTR) issued an announcement in the Federal Register, announcing the cancellation of preferential treatment for WTO developing countries in 25 economies, including China and Hong Kong. The United States ’cancellation of preferential treatment for China ’s developing countries indicates that it will no longer apply“ special and differential treatment ”in its future trade with China and will proceed in accordance with the standards of developed countries.

What are the “special treatments” of developing countries

In 2001, China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a developing country and enjoyed the WTO’s special treatment for developing countries. WTO’s “special treatment” for developing countries is mainly reflected in 4 points: (1) The degree of protection allowed is higher than that of developed countries. Specifically, the average tariff rate of import tariffs can be higher than that of developed countries. At present, the average tariff rate in developed countries is 4%, while that in developing countries is 14%. (2) It is allowed to continue to enjoy the unilateral tariff concessions granted to developing countries before the WTO accession, namely the GSP. (3) Allow the transition period to be longer than developed countries. If developed countries have problems after joining the WTO, they should complete the integration with the WTO within 2 years, while developing countries can extend it to 4-8 years. (4) The principle of allowing some exceptions in the WTO. For example, dumping is not called dumping if the exports of developing countries are lower than the domestic market price and less than a certain standard. In the case of investment, for example, developing countries can stipulate the direction of foreign capital utilization and the proportion of foreign capital utilization according to their own economic development needs.

U.S. launches frequent trade investigations on China ’s steel products

Since 2007, the United States has launched frequent trade investigations against Chinese steel products. The United States is the country with the most anti-dumping and countervailing investigations against Chinese steel products. According to the US Department of Commerce, as of February 15, 2018, there were 169 anti-dumping and countervailing duties on steel products in the United States, 29 of which were directed against China.

The monitoring data of the Lange Steel Research Center shows that from 2007 to 2019, the United States initiated 36 trade investigations on Chinese steel products, including 26 double anti-dumping, 6 anti-dumping, 2 anti-circumvention, 1 337 investigation, and 232 investigation. Overall, the total amount of anti-dumping is 32, accounting for 89% of all investigations.

The United States cancels the treatment of China’s developing countries, restricting China’s steel exports to the United States

The current US abolition of the treatment of China ’s developing countries will have an adverse effect on China ’s steel exports for the steel industry, mainly due to higher standards for dumping investigations. The number of Chinese steel products subject to US anti-dumping investigations and the dumping margin may be formulated It will be higher, thereby further restricting China’s steel exports to the United States.

For many years, US restrictions on China’s steel products have seriously affected China’s steel exports to the United States. In 2006, China exported 5.4 million tons of US steel products, accounting for 12.56% of China’s total steel exports that year; in 2019, China exported 850,000 tons of US steel products, which accounted for only 1.32% of China’s total steel exports. After 13 years of trade restrictions, the volume of China ’s steel exports to the United States in 2019 fell by 84.3% compared with 2006, and the share of total steel exports fell by 11.24 percentage points. Among the countries that ranked China ’s steel exports, the United States also fell from the second place in 2006 To the 23rd place in 2019.

Judging from the current export of steel products to the United States, the volume of steel exports to the United States in 2019 is only 850,000 tons, and the amount of impact is not very large; but it needs to be noted that China’s exports of mechanical and electrical products to the United States in the later period may be further restricted Has an impact on China’s indirect export of steel. At the same time, Chinese steel companies also need to be alert to similar imitative behaviors in other countries, and take precautions early.