China slams higher European steel tariffs as unjustified

Beijing has criticized new European tariffs on Chinese steel as "unjustifiable" protectionism coming just weeks after commerce ministers from G20 nations pledged to promote free trade.

The European Union said Friday it had set definitive anti-dumping duties on certain Chinese steel bars at rates higher than initially proposed, following an investigation prompted by complaints from European steelmaking association Eurofer. The announcement drew an immediate response from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which said the EU "unfairly" set new tariffs based on higher profit targets for European producers.

Trade disputes over steel have been a point of contention in G20 talks hosted this year by China. European producers have blamed Chinese subsidies and dumping for plunging steel prices. China has denied the accusations and said it is working to cut capacity.