Iranian steel exporters hit by EU anti-dumping crackdown

Iran's Minister of Industry Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh. (AP)
Updated 07 October 2017
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Iranian steel exporters hit by EU anti-dumping crackdown

LONDON: Iran has been caught up in a European Union crackdown on alleged predatory pricing by producers of hot-rolled steel, and is one of several countries facing anti-dumping duties.
The move follows complaints from European manufacturers of excessively low pricing by companies based in Iran, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine.

Anti-dumping tariffs of between €17.6 and €96.5 ($20.6-$112.8) per ton will be imposed from Oct. 7, the EU said on Thursday.

Iranian steel would be subject to a duty of €57.5 per ton and Ukraine’s Metinvest Group €60.5 per ton.

The European Commission had initially proposed setting a minimum price of €472.27 per ton — but revised its proposal after failing to secure backing from EU member states.

Among the companies subject to tariffs were the Brazilian arm of ArcelorMittal and Aperam, both of which also produce in Europe. Others hit include Companhia Siderugica Nacional, Usinas Siderugicas de Minas Gerais and Gerdau — at rates of between €53.4 and €63 per ton.

Rates for Russia producers varied from €17.6 for PAO Severstal, €53.3 for Novolipetsk and €96.5 for MMK.

In April, the EU took action to protect its steel producers from Chinese exports of hot-rolled flat steel products following dumping allegations by European interests.

Punitive duties were imposed on Chinese producers for an initial period of five years following a lengthy investigation.

Hot-rolled flat steel is used for the production of steel tubes, used in construction, and for shipbuilding, gas containers, cars, pressure vessels, and energy pipelines.

The EC has disclosed it currently has in force an unprecedented number of trade defense measures targeting “unfair” exports of steel products from third countries, with a total of 41 anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures, 18 of which on products originating from China.

The EU said it is also tackling overcapacity in the global steel industry through involvement in a global forum that was launched at the end of last year.


Ford gets record fine in Australia for ‘unconscionable’ conduct

Updated 26 April 2018
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Ford gets record fine in Australia for ‘unconscionable’ conduct

SYDNEY: Car giant Ford is set to pay out A$10 million ($7.6 million) for its “unconscionable” handling of gearbox complaints in Australia after a court on Thursday slugged the auto manufacturer with a record penalty.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) began legal action against Ford last year after the car manufacturer failed to properly deal with thousands of complaints about shuddering in PowerShift transmissions fitted to its Fiesta, Focus and EcoSport models.
“Despite knowing that shuddering was a symptom of the quality issues with the vehicles, Ford frequently told customers that shuddering was the result of the customer’s driving style,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
“Ford knew that the symptoms of the quality issues with the vehicles were experienced intermittently but required customers to demonstrate them on demand in the presence of a dealer in order for repairs to be undertaken.”
The payout matches the largest-ever handed down under Australian consumer law, the ACCC said, equaling a $10-million penalty against supermarket chain Coles in 2014 for misusing its bargaining powers against suppliers.
“Ford knew that its vehicles had three separate quality issues but dealt with affected customers in a way which the Court has declared to be unconscionable,” Sims said.
About 75,000 cars fitted with the PowerShift transmission have been sold in Australia and over 10,000 people may be eligible for remediation after making complaints between May 2015 and November 2016.
“We were overwhelmed with the volume of complaints and, while it was not intended, over a ten-month period our processes were inadequate and information provided was either inaccurate or incomplete,” President of Ford Motor Company Australia Graeme Whickman said.
“We let our customers down and for that we are sorry,” he said in a statement.