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 Weekly global coal market news summary (Feb 11 – Feb 15) 2019-02-15

Indonesian thermal coal rebounds to 3-mth high in China import market Prices of Indonesian thermal coal have rebounded to a three-month high in China's seaborne import market, presenting a s

2 China's spot thermal coal prices rebound to 600 yuan/t; bullish sentiment grows 2019-02-15

China's spot thermal coal prices rebounded to 600 yuan/t ($88.6/t) at northern ports after holding flat for six days following five-day lose since late-January, fanning bullish sentiments among market

3 S. Korea Jan met. coal imports down 14% MoM 2019-02-15

South Korea imported 2.28 million tonnes of metallurgical coal (including coking coal and PCI coal) in January, decreasing 18.08% year on year and 14.33% month on month, according to the latest custom

4 China's Shanxi finds 2.44 bln T of coal reserves in 2018 2019-02-15

China's coal hub Shanxi province discovered new coal reserves totaling 2.44 billion tonnes in 2018, Xinhua News Agency reported on February 14, citing Shanxi Natural Resources Department.

5 Valin Steel Jan steel sales advance 10% on yr 2019-02-15

Hunan Valin Steel Co., Ltd. (SZSE: 000932), one state-owned company of China, sold 1.7 million tonnes of finished steel last month, up 10% from a year ago, the company said in an announcement on Febru

6 China Coal Daily Track (Feb 15) 2019-02-15

Thermal coal Domestic market Production area In Shaanxi, some small mines intended to lower their prices following several big ones' cuts a couple of days ago. Not many coal mines resume

7 Indonesian thermal coal rebounds to 3-mth high in China import market 2019-02-15

Prices of Indonesian thermal coal have rebounded to a three-month high in China's seaborne import market, presenting a sharper growth following small rises after Chinese Lunar New Year holidays.

8 Rising demand pushes up Chinese thermal coal prices further 2019-02-15

Chinese thermal coal market became more active with increased inquiries and trades at northern transfer ports, driving prices to move up further. On February 14, the Fenwei CCI index for

9 China's factory-gate prices slow for seventh month, raising deflation fears 2019-02-15

China's factory-gate inflation slowed for a seventh straight month in January to its weakest pace since September 2016, raising concerns the world's second-biggest economy may see the return of deflat

10 China Jan coke exports rise 4.4% to 0.7 Mt 2019-02-15

China's coke exports totaled 716,000 tonnes in January, rising 4.4% from a year yet falling 35.96% from a month ago, showed data from the General Administration of Customs on February 14.

Most Read Articles

1 China's import coal ban may last for months; Australian miners suffer 2019-02-11

China is said to possibly maintain its tight controls on import coal for the coming months after February, an expectation among market players shortly after the nation strengthened coking coal import

2 China coal imports surge to new high in Jan amid delayed clearance 2019-02-14

China's coal imports surged to a new high in January since February 2014, Chinese customs data showed on February 14, more than triple of the size of December. January's coal imports tota

3 Australia to invest more in coal projects in next few years 2019-02-12

Australia is expected to increase investment in coal projects significantly in the next few years, according to the latest "Resources and Energy Quarterly" report for December quarter published by the

4 Upbeat signs emerge in China thermal coal market 2019-02-13

China's coastal thermal coal market ran a bit stronger as participants gradually returned from the Spring Festival holiday, with offer prices inching higher two days after the weeklong break.

5 Registration kicks off for 9th (2019) Global Coking Coal Resource & Market Summit 2019-02-14

Hosted by China's coal industry portal sxcoal.com, the 9th (2019) Global Coking Coal Resource & Market Summit is set to convene in Beijing in April 10-11, 2019. China's cok

6 Chinese utilities' post-holiday coal buying slack; import policy in spotlight 2019-02-12

Most utilities in China were still staying on the sidelines after the weeklong Spring Festival break, with market sentiment shadowed by a lack of clarity on the government's import policy.

7 Australian thermal coal prices fall to lowest since Apr 2018 on weak China demand 2019-02-11

Australian thermal coal prices have fallen to their lowest since April 2018 as a slowdown in Chinese imports dents demand for the commodity. Spot cargo prices for Australian thermal coal

8 China import thermal coal trades remain light on lukewarm buying 2019-02-14

Trades of thermal coal remained light in Chinese seaborne import market so far this week, as domestic power plants were reluctant to restock given their high stockpiles and customs clearance issues im

9 Chinese thermal coal extends strength; demand for Shanxi coal up 2019-02-14

Chinese domestic thermal coal market kept gaining strength from growing demand for Shanxi premium cargoes, which also helped push up prices in other coals. On February 13, the Fenwei CCI

10 China Coal Daily Track (Feb 13) 2019-02-13

Thermal coal Domestic market Production area Affected by low work resumption of downstream enterprises, miners in Shaanxi's Yulin started lowering their prices, which was also partly ass

Scan to download sxcoal.com mobile APP

X