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China isn't dumping steel: Premier Li

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/03/2017

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has strongly denied his country is dumping steel on the New Zealand market.

Complaints by New Zealand steel producers that China was dumping its excess steel in contravention of international trade rules threatened relations between the two countries last year, and diplomats worked hard to smooth it over.

At the time, China denied it had threatened trade retaliation if the complaints were investigated.

On Monday, after formal talks with Prime Minister Bill English in Wellington, Premier Li faced questions from the media about steel dumping.

After his initial answer - a denial that China dumped its "waste" - he returned to the issue and said most of New Zealand's steel imports came from countries other than China.

"China is not dumping steel products in New Zealand," he said through an interpreter.

"Fifty per cent of China's dairy imports are from New Zealand - and we haven't said New Zealand is dumping."

Premier Li said if any company tried to dump steel, New Zealand and China could work together to resolve the issue.

Mr English said steel dumping hadn't been part of their discussions.

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