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New Zealand Steel sues government over Chinese import decision

Steel News - Published on Thu, 07 Dec 2017

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NBR reported that NZ Steel is suing the government over the previous Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister's decision not to take action over Chinese steel dumping. In July, then Commerce Minister Ms Jacqui Dean said she would not impose countervailing duties on imports of galvanised steel coil from China. A spokesperson said that a Ministry of Business investigation found Chinese imports of steel were subsidised at very low levels, no more than 0.08%.

However, the report was heavily criticised at the time of its release, with the union saying it was "extremely disappointed" with the decision. It claimed there were serious questions about the rigour of the research given only one Chinese manufacturer responded to questions from the New Zealand government.

This September NZ Steel lodged an application for judicial review of the former minister's decision.

A hearing began in the High Court at Wellington before Justice Susan Thomas, with Jack Hodder, QC, representing NZ Steel, which is owned by ASX-listed BlueScope. James Every Palmer, QC, is representing the government.

The ministry is taking a look at different claims over Chinese steel imports, with former minister Ms Dean having signed off on another investigation in August just before Parliament was dissolved for the general election.

That investigation, which is still going, concerns the reinforcing steel bar and coil or rebar from China and Malaysia.

Chinese steel imports have been a bone of contention around the world as US and European producers claimed their own industries were being undercut by the dumping of subsidised steel in their markets.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Thu, 07 Dec 2017
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