BEIJING (AP) -- China imposed anti-dumping duties on some European steel products Wednesday and accused Europe of protectionism for extending curbs on imports of Chinese shoes, adding to tensions fueled by the slump in global trade.
The additional tariffs on imports of European carbon steel fasteners range from 16.8 percent to 24.6 percent and take effect Dec. 28, the Commerce Ministry announced. It said authorities concluded the products were being sold at improperly low prices.
Beijing and its trading partners have launched a flurry of trade probes and hiked tariffs on some imports to support their manufacturers despite repeated pledges to avoid protectionism amid slumping global consumer demand.
China is the world's biggest steel producer and has faced complaints it is harming foreign producers by dumping steel in foreign markets. The United States has imposed anti-dumping duties on several types of Chinese steel products.
In the shoe dispute, EU governments agreed Tuesday to a 15-month extension of higher duties on Chinese and Vietnamese leather shoes. The EU says its shoemakers are suffering because Chinese and Vietnamese rivals are selling shoes below production cost.
The decision "takes Europe farther down the road of protectionism," said Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian in a statement.
China and its trading partners also are involved in disputes over tires, steel pipe, petrochemical products and other goods.
This week, a World Trade Organization panel upheld a ruling in a case brought by the United States that China improperly hampers imports of foreign movies, music and books by requiring them to be sold through state-owned companies.
The Chinese government expressed disappointment at the decision but gave no indication how it might respond.