BRUSSELS: The European Commission said that it has begun an investigation into China's aluminium road wheels over alleged dumping in the European market.
The investigation came after the Association of European Wheel Manufacturers (EUWA) claimed in June that certain aluminium road wheels imported from China have been dumped in the EU, the Commission said in its official journal on Thursday. The wheels are used in motor vehicles.
"The investigation will determine whether the product concerned originating in the People's Republic of China is being dumped and whether this dumping has caused injury," it said.
In response on Friday, China's Ministry of Commerce said that the investigation was against World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
"The anti-dumping investigation adds uncertainty to the market and raises the procurement costs of European automobile manufacturers," China's Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said in a statement on the ministry's website.
"It raises the cost of repairs for customers, affects the recovery of the European auto sector from the global financial crisis, and hurts the interests of both China and Europe," Yao said in the statement.
The investigation launched by the EU, involves more than 60 Chinese companies, and will cause US$390 million in economic losses to the exporters, according to the statement.
Once an anti-dumping judgment is made, the EU may levy tariffs of up to 33 percent on Chinese aluminum alloy hubs for five years.
China's aluminum alloy hub products have been widely used by leading auto makers such as Mercedez-Benz, BMW AG, Audi AG and Volkswagen.
Such anti-dumping would increase the cost to both the auto makers and the consumers, and bring negative impact to the recovery of the European' auto industry, said Yao.
China urged the EU to keep its anti-protectionism promise, safeguard an open and impartial market competition and create a sound environment for bilateral trade.
In an attempt to protect its own industry, the EU has frequently lodged anti-dumping investigations or imposed punitive tariffs against Chinese products ranging from shoes to steel wire rods.
The practice is not only undermine bilateral trade, but also hurts the interests of European consumers.