The European Union has moved to address what it says are unfairly low prices for imported Chinese made steel.
It has set provisional import duties on two types of steel – between 13.2 and 22.6 percent for hot-rolled flat iron and steel products and between 65.1 and 73.7 percent for heavy-plate steel.
It will now investigate and if the complaints are upheld, the duties would typically be set for five years.
EU steel producers have been pushing for this saying there is a flood of products being sold in Europe for less than they cost to make, due to Chinese overcapacity – something which is known as dumping.
The move is likely to draw an angry response from China, which is the source of 50 percent of the world’s steel and the largest global steel consumer.
In reaction shares of ArcelorMittal and ThyssenKrupp rose on Friday.
Some 5,000 jobs have been axed in the British steel industry in the last year, as it struggles to compete with cheap Chinese imports and high energy costs.
The European Commission is also investigating alleged dumping of hot-rolled steel by producers in Brazil, Iran, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine. That could lead to duties imposed by April.