China to keep anti-subsidy tariffs on imports of EU potato starch for 5 more years
Published: Sep 14, 2023 11:50 PM
Commerce Ministry

Commerce Ministry

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Thursday announced that it will continue to impose anti-subsidy tariffs on imports of potato starch from the EU for another five years, saying that a review found that ending the tariffs might continue to hurt Chinese industry.  

In 2011, MOFCOM imposed anti-subsidy tariff rates between 7.5 percent and 12.4 percent on potato starch from the EU. After a review was launched in 2016, the tariffs were extended to five more years in 2017. In July 2022, the ministry received a request from an industry group to launch a review and to keep the current anti-subsidy measures, MOFCOM said in a notice.

After an initial review, the ministry decided to launch a probe to determine whether ending the anti-subsidy tariffs could lead to the continuation or repetition of subsidies and subsequent damage. The probe was set to be completed before September 16, 2023. 

"The Ministry of Commerce ruled that if countervailing measures are terminated, subsidies for imported potato starch originating in the EU may continue or occur again, and the damage caused to China's potato starch industry may continue or occur again," the notice read. 

Potato starch is used in the food industry in China as an important raw material for the production of food additives such as emulsifiers and is widely used in the production of products such as sausages and packaged food. 

Roquette Freres, a French company, will face a tariff rate of 7.5 percent when exporting potato starch to the Chinese market, while other EU firms, including Cooperatie Koninklijke Avebe U.A. from the Netherlands and Avebe Kartoffelstarkefabrik Prignitz/Wendland GmbH from Germany, will face a tariff rate of 12.4 percent. 

The tariffs announced on Thursday are the results of a review that started a year ago. China-EU trade is facing rising tensions due to the latter's increasingly hostile attitude toward Chinese companies and products. 

In the latest case, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that the EU is launching a probe into Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), claiming the prices of imported Chinese vehicles are being kept "artificially low by huge state subsidies." 

That has prompted a harsh response from China, with the move appearing to be an act of blatant protectionism. On Thursday, MOFCOM issued a statement, saying that the investigative measures planned by the EU are actually aimed at protecting its own industry, and that they will seriously disrupt and distort the global automotive supply chain, and have a negative impact on China-EU economic and trade ties.

Global Times