A European Union flag is seen outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU governments voted on Tuesday to impose duties on Chinese electric bicycles to curb cheap imports that European producers say benefit from unfair subsidies and are flooding the market, EU sources familiar with the case said.
The European Commission, which is investigating on behalf of the 28 EU members, has proposed that definitive or final tariffs of between 18.8 and 79.3 percent should apply for all e-bikes coming from China.
The anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties are the latest in a series of EU measures against Chinese exports ranging from solar panels to steel, which have sparked strong words from Beijing.
Unlike the United States, the European Union has not launched a trade war against China, but it shares U.S. concerns about forced technology transfers and Chinese state subsidies.
The electric bicycle imports are already subject to the duties set on a provisional basis in July. Definitive duties typically apply for five years.
Taiwan’s Giant, one of the world’s largest bicyclemakers, which has factories in China as well as in theNetherlands, would be subject to a rate of 24.8 percent.
The Commission found Chinese exports of e-bikes to the European Union more than tripled from 2014 until September 2017. Their market share rose to 35 percent, while their average prices fell by 11 percent.
It has also said Chinese producers benefit from controlled aluminium prices as well as advantageous financing and land rights conditions and tax breaks.
EU producers include Dutch groups Accell and Gazelle, Romania’s Eurosport DHS and Germany’s Derby Cycle Holding.
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robin Emmott