China has refused to negotiate exemptions from the tariffs it has imposed on five categories of steel products, the Financial Times said. The tariffs, averaging 22 per cent, were extended for three years from November 20. They were imposed to safeguard Chinese steel-makers from increased imports, after producers in other countries diverted their exports to China when the US and Europe increased import duties on steel. Japan and South Korea tried to negotiate exemptions
from the tariffs for their steel-makers, and Japanese producers voluntarily cut their exports to China in an effort to win concessions, but the Chinese government has insisted that the tariffs will remain.
The categories of steel affected are hotrolled, cold-rolled, colour-coated, non-oriented magnetic and stainless cold-rolled steel. The main users of these products are car and home appliance makers. Many foreign-invested manufacturers in China use Japanese steel because it is of higher quality than the domestic product.