The EU will take the unprecedented measure of imposing preemptive penalties on imports of steel pipe from China in what many see as evidence of growing protectionism, the Wall Street Journal reported. Duties ranging from 17.7% to 39.2% are expected to take effect in October and last five years, replacing temporary duties of up to 24.2% that have been in place since April. In order to secure an anti-dumping action, companies typically must prove that business is suffering as a result of a product being sold at or below cost to gain market share. However, the EU accepted European steelmakers’ argument that tariffs are required to protect them from the threat of underpriced imports from China. Lawyers believe other industries may now follow suit. Beijing is already preparing a case at the WTO against the EU and US over steel tariffs.