EU Launches Investigation Into Chinese Optical Fiber Cable Imports

September 24, 2020 Updated: September 24, 2020

BRUSSELS—The European Commission launched an investigation on Thursday into imports of optical fiber cable from China, which EU manufacturers believe are being sold in Europe at artificially low prices.

The case comes as the 27-member European Union wants the digital economy to be a key part of its economic recovery and demands a greater opening of Chinese markets.

Europacable, which brought the complaint on behalf of the EU producers, said some 1.2 million kilometres (745,000 miles) were sold in Europe last year, with 15-20 percent coming from China, in a total EU market worth about 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion).

Chinese imports rose by 150 percent from 2016 to 2019, the industry group said.

EU anti-dumping investigations take up to 15 months, but provisional duties can be put in place within eight. Final tariffs, if imposed, would normally apply for five years.

The largest producers in the EU are Italy’s Prysmian Group, U.S. company Corning and France-based Nexans and Acome.

Major Chinese optical fiber cable makers include Yangtze Optical FC, Hengtong Group, Fiberhome and Futong.

The Commission has already carried out a series of investigations into glass fiber products from China and imposed tariffs. It also has 29 ongoing trade defense investigations, 18 of them including products from China.

($1 = 0.8587 euros)

By Philip Blenkinsop