On January 19, 2022, the European Commission imposed anti-subsidy duties on imports of optical fibre cables from China. These duties come in addition to the anti-dumping measures imposed on the same product in November 2021.
The anti-subsidy investigation revealed that Chinese producers of optical fibre cables benefitted from a number of government subsidies, including funds aimed at supporting R&D and innovation, as well as preferential tax rates reserved for the high-tech industry. Furthermore, the Chinese producers had access to attractive loans from the China Development Bank Fund, a policy-oriented investment organisation that supports projects in key strategic sectors set out by the Chinese government. These subsidies create unfair competition and as such are injurious to EU industry.
The European optical fibre cable industry is key to the EU’s digital sovereignty because optical fibre cables are crucial for the transition to advanced broadband telecommunication networks for homes and businesses in the EU. The economic value of this industry is significant for the EU: it employs 5,000 people and has a yearly turnover of €1 billion. Therefore, it is particularly important to ensure that this European industry is not weakened by dumped or subsidised imports.
The anti-subsidy duties imposed on optical fibre cables from China range from 5.1% to 10.3%. As is customary, the anti-dumping measures imposed on the same product on 18 November 2021 have been adjusted to avoid double counting wherever dumping and subsidy practices overlap.
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