Chinese steel maker fights legal battles over unfair tariffs

ecns.cn Viewpoint 2018-10-12 13:26:00

Higher tariffs are no match for at least one Chinese company. Tiangong International, a steel company based in eastern China's Jiangsu province has a history of winning overseas legal battles. And their most recent victory has it avoiding higher costs when it comes to their exports to the US market.  


It's part of the daily grind for workers at Tiangong International. Casting special steel everyday keeps Tiangong an industry leader, specializing in high-speed steel and cutting tools.


Despite ongoing global trade tensions, not many here in the exports-oriented seem worried. One reason is that managers here appealed unfair tariffs at the international stage.


Recently, the US Department of Commerce amended results of the so-called Section 232 investigation, largely cutting the countervailing duty imposed on Tiangong, from 251% to just 24%.


"Under the complex US trade system, we found out the Commerce Department has an expedited review program. Tiangong was qualified and then we applied for the review last April. As far as I know, we are the only Chinese steel company to use this program," said Xu Shaoqi, director of Tiangong's legal affairs department.


Behind that is 17 months of dedication by Xu and his team – talking to dozens of legal experts from both China and the US.


"The whole team put lots of effort in preparing questionnaires the Commerce Department handed to us. To answer each question, we need to attach ample evidence," Xu added.


It's not the first victory for Tiangong.


In 2016, the company won an appeal against the European Union's anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations, saving itself from the proposed tariffs then.


And just last month, Tiangong attended an EU hearing on safety measures for imported steel products as the only representative for Chinese steel companies.


But chairman of the board Zhu Xiaokun said the key strength is not just its powerful legal team.


"As a private firm, we don't have any subsidies from the government. Our development totally depends on the continuous innovation of our products. So, we let our products speak for themselves," Zhu said.


Established 37 years ago, the private steel maker has also faced issues like overcapacity. But Zhu said it's the craftsmanship that has helped Tiangong gradually turn itself into a high-tech enterprise. That's also why it remains confident even with the escalating China-US trade frictions.


"When the Trump administration first imposed 25% tariffs on imported steel in March, we reached an agreement with our American clients that each party would share half of the additional costs in the first two months. But after that, our clients no longer asked us to share the burden because our products are much needed in the US steel industry and it's incomparable," Zhu told CGTN.


Because of America's protectionist measures, steel exports from the Chinese mainland to the US have slumped over the past decade. Now steel from China only takes up less than 2% of America's total steel imports.


And for Tiangong, the US market now only takes up about a quarter of its total exports.


But ironically, many players in American steel industry failed to benefit from that due to rising costs. Analysts say the best solution now is to go back to the negotiation table and hammer out an agreement that can benefit both sides.


(Writing by Alex Guo  Editing by Tammy Yang)
For any questions, please contact us by inqury@fwenergy.com or +86-351-7219322.

Share this article
Connect with us

Editors Recommendations

1 China May power coal price index down 3.16% YoY, NDRC 2019-06-17

The monthly-issued China Thermal Coal Index (CTCI) by the National Development and Reform Commission declined 3.16% year on year in May, marking the eighth-month negative growth in a row. &nb

2 China Coal Daily Track (Jun 17) 2019-06-17

Thermal coal Production area Coal prices remained under pressure in Shaanxi's Yulin, where the overall supply edged up but sales were sluggish. In Ordos, Inner Mongolia,

3 Indonesian rains impact on thermal coal may not last long, traders 2019-06-17

Indonesian miners generally upheld offers for thermal coal cargoes heading to China amid rain-interrupted coal production and delivery, yet many traders deemed it only temporary and tepid demand may f

4 Weekly China natural gas news summary (Jun 10-Jun 14) 2019-06-17

Global gas demand to grow at 1.6% per year until 2024 -IEA Global gas demand is expected to grow at a rate of 1.6% a year until 2024, fuelled by Chinese consumption which will account for over a

5 Taiwan May coal imports pick up to a year-high 2019-06-17

Coal imports in Taiwan of China picked up to a high this year in May, with a firm increase of 20.3% from a month earlier, official data showed. Taiwan imported 6.37 million tonnes of coal

6 Ceke border crossing May coal imports drop 2.73% on yr 2019-06-17

Coal imports registered a year-on-year decline of 2.73% at Ceke border crossing in northern China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region in May, according to official data. The inland c

7 Chinese domestic thermal coal market closes week with steadiness; outlook mixed 2019-06-17

Chinese domestic spot thermal coal market ended last week with steady prices of main grades at northern ports, though views were mixed toward the near-term market outlook. Negative commen

8 Weekly China steel market news summary (Jun 10-Jun 14) 2019-06-17

Australia mining investment recovery, exports to add to GDP growth A gradual pick-up in mining investment in Australia combined with solid export demand for the country's commodities will likely

9 S. Korea May met coal imports rise for 2 mths 2019-06-17

South Korea's imports of metallurgical coal, including coking coal and PCI coal, posted the second straight rise in May, the latest customs data showed. The country imported 3.03 million

10 Weekly global coal market news summary (Jun 10-Jun 14) 2019-06-14

Chinese import thermal coal market stabilizes after decline Chinese seaborne import thermal coal market stabilized this week following straight declines for more than a week before holidays f

Most Read Articles

1 China May coal imports reach 4-mth high, up 8.57% MoM 2019-06-10

China's coal imports climbed to a four-month high in May, a solid 8.57% increase from a month earlier, showed data from the General Administration of Customs on June 10. In May

2 Thermal coal market confidence withers in China despite small price rebounds 2019-06-12

Participants still lacked confidence in Chinese spot thermal coal market even though prices of 5,000 Kcal/kg NAR coal have rebounded in recent days amid slightly revived interest from buyers.

3 China steel prices head down on demand woes 2019-06-11

Steel prices generally went downward in China in the week through June 7 on concerns about weak demand, though most mills were still able to make profit. Spot price for rebar averag

4 Global coal output breaks 8-Bt in 2018; coal consumption rises 1.4% 2019-06-13

World coal production totaled 8.013 billion tonnes in 2018, a 4.0 increase from the previous year, breaking the 8-billion-tonne mark for the first time in the recent four years, according to the lates

5 China import coal market sentiment wobbles as Indonesian miners declare force majeure 2019-06-12

Several Indonesian coal miners declared force majeure on shipments due to heavy rain, triggering a slight change of sentiment in Chinese seaborne import market. Jhonlin Group, a low-calor

6 Indonesian thermal coal prices stabilize over concerns of supply tightness 2019-06-13

Indonesian coal miners stopped lowering offer prices of thermal coal cargoes heading to China over concerns of supply tightness as extreme weather hobbled coal production and vessel loading in the sou

7 Indonesian thermal coal prices remain under pressure after holiday 2019-06-11

Indonesian spot thermal coal prices extended the downward trend from last week with not much change in offers from Indonesian miners who just got back from a week-long holiday. Offer pric

8 China thermal coal market still in mild correction, outlook diverges 2019-06-13

Chinese spot thermal coal market has remained in mild correction since last week, though coal replenishment from utilities hasn't improved greatly ahead of summer peak season. The short-t

9 China May coal exports slump 40.15% YoY, customs 2019-06-10

China experienced a steep year-on-year drop of40.15% in coal exports in May, accelerating from a 1.57% decrease a month ago, showed customs data released on June 10. The country exp

10 Indonesia's Jun HBA thermal coal price down for 9th mth to $81.48/t 2019-06-11

Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has set its June thermal coal reference price, also known as Harga Batubara Acuan or HBA, at $81.48/t, 0.46% lower than the reference in May and do

Scan to download sxcoal.com mobile APP

X