BRUSSELS - The European Union (EU) on Thursday imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese aluminum road wheels and sodium gluconate, stirring concerns over rising protectionism in the 27-nation bloc.
Chinese aluminum road wheels, widely used by European car makers such as BMW and Renault, would be subject to a duty rate of 22.3 percent for a period of five years, while sodium gluconate would face a rate as high as 53.2 percent, but two Chinese producers were given lower duties, according to the decisions published in the EU's official journal.
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, launched anti-dumping investigations against Chinese aluminum road wheels and sodium gluconate in August 2009. The probes divided EU member states and were opposed by European importers and industries.
Separately, the EU decided Thursday to launch an investigation into possible circumvention of the anti-dumping measures imposed on imports of certain iron or steel fasteners originating in China.
It was alleged that Chinese fastener producers used Malaysia as a transit for re-exports to the EU to evade anti-dumping duties imposed last year.
The EU imposed anti-dumping duties up to 87 percent on imports of Chinese fasteners early 2009, which was contested by China at the World Trade Organization in July 2009.
Beijing has repeatedly warned against abusive use of anti-dumping measures by the EU and called on its largest trading partner to refrain from trade protectionism.