In its initial findings, the UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) proposed today (13 July 2022) that the existing anti-dumping measures on imports of high fatigue strength concrete reinforcing bars ( HFP Rebar) from China be repealed.
The TRA, as set out in the Statement of Essential Facts (SEF), has concluded that maintaining the measures, which have been in place since 2016, would not be in the UK’s economic interest, as there is currently strong demand affordable imported products. HFP Rebar from the construction sector in the UK in particular.
Findings of the investigation
All TRA transition reviews involve an economic interest test to consider the economic impacts — both beneficial and detrimental — of imposing a trade remedy measure.
In this case, the TRA found that the economic impact of continuing anti-dumping measures on HFP rebar from China would be severe, particularly for the UK construction industry, which is worth over £108 billion. sterling per year for the British economy.
HFP rebar, also known as reinforcing steel and reinforcing steel, is typically used in the construction industry, which employs approximately 1.4 to 2.2 million employed, to reinforce concrete and masonry structures in order to reinforce and maintain the concrete in tension.
The industry has rebounded since the COVID-19 pandemic and the TRA has seen a strong likelihood that there will be continued strong demand for HFP rebar. However, in 2020-21, 27% of total rebar imports came from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. These imports are expected to drop significantly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions. Thus, strong demand and an anticipated shortage of supply means that maintaining the measure would increase the prices paid on the domestic market.
Our judgment is that this impact on the UK economy would outweigh the potential harm to the sole UK producer. In addition, a steel safeguard measure extended by the UK government last month applies to HFP rebar. This safeguard will limit a certain level of imports from China and provide some protection for this UK producer.
Therefore, although the TRA has found that dumping of HFP rebar is likely to recur if the measures are repealed and injury to UK production occurs, it is not in the economic interest of the United Kingdom that the measures be maintained.
TRA chief executive Oliver Griffiths said:
We have a duty to weigh the impact of dumping on UK producers against the wider effects on the UK economy of the imposition of tariffs. In this case, our assessment is that strong domestic demand and international supply shortages mean that continued tariffs on HFP rebar from China would drive up prices of key components of the economy. British, such as construction. Our judgment is that the impact on the UK economy of higher prices would far outweigh the impact on the sole UK rebar producer of the removal of tariffs on Chinese imports.
Following today’s release, there will be a 30-day period during which interested parties may comment on the report. Interested parties may submit comments to the TRA through the Trade Remedies Service website.
The TRA will then review and produce a final recommendation, which will be sent to the Secretary of State for International Trade who will make the final decision on whether or not to uphold the TRA’s recommendation. The government can ‘call’ the case at any time during the investigation, to ask the TRA to undertake a more in-depth or different analysis of the case.
Notes to editors:
Find out more about how an economic interest test takes place in the UK.
The UK HFP rebar industry includes one verified producer, which employs around 700 staff and contributes around £41 million per year to the UK economy.
In contrast, the TRA identified 36 domestic importers of HFP rebar. Just eight of them employed around 1,780 staff and contributed around £180million to the UK economy.
In addition, the main UK market for HFP rebar is construction. Construction is an important sector of the UK economy with around 1.4 to 2.2 million employees and contributes around £108 billion a year to the UK economy.
Between 2017 and 2021, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus accounted for 20% to 40% of UK HFP rebar imports. It is likely that these imports will completely cease due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions. This means that there is a significant risk of a shortage of HFP rebar supply for the construction industry.
Anti-dumping duties allow a country or union to take action against goods sold at less than their normal value, which is defined as the price of “like goods” sold in the exporter’s domestic market.
Trade remedy investigations were carried out by the European Commission on behalf of the UK until the UK left the EU. Forty-four EU trade remedy measures of interest to UK producers were transposed into UK law when the UK left the EU and the TRA is currently reviewing each of them to determine whether they are suitable for the needs of the UK. UK.
The European Commission imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of HFP rebar from China in July 2016. This is the transitional measure that was the subject of the TRA’s transitional review. The Commission let the EU measure expire on July 29, 2021 without review.
The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) is the independent UK body, established in June 2021, as the Department for International Trade’s first non-departmental public body, which investigates the need for trade remedy measures to counter import practices unfair and unforeseen surges of imports.
Learn more about TRA’s mission in its business plan.