The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) has today (26 April) opened two new investigations into imports of fibre optic cables from the People’s Republic of China.

Fibre optic cables are used in the delivery of broadband services to homes and businesses.

The TRA will carry out two investigations – an anti-dumping investigation to determine whether imports of these products are being dumped in the UK at prices below what they would sell for in their home country and a separate investigation to determine whether the Chinese imports entering the UK market are also benefiting from subsidies which lower their production costs. The investigations will also consider whether these imports are damaging the UK industry for fibre optic cables .

The new investigations are in response to an application from a UK manufacturer to the TRA to investigate whether these imports are causing injury to UK industry. The TRA will conduct an Economic Interest Test (EIT) as part of its investigation to assess whether a new trade remedy measure would be in the UK’s economic interest. 

Oliver Griffiths, TRA Chief Executive, said:

Fibre optic cable is broadband’s workhorse. These investigations will examine whether fibre optic cable from China is being traded unfairly and assess its impact on the UK economy.

The TRA will now seek information from all interested parties to establish whether imports of fibre optic cable from China are being dumped in the UK at prices below their normal value, whether they benefit from government subsidies, whether these imports are causing injury to UK industry and whether it would be in the UK’s interests for measures to be put in place to mitigate any injury. The period of investigation is 1 January – 31 December 2021 while the injury period is 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2021. 

View further information on how to contribute to the investigation and on the TRA’s current case load, including its investigation into aluminium extrusions and transition reviews into steel safeguard measures, iron and steel Wire Rods and heavy steel plate. 

Background information: 

  • The Trade Remedies Authority is the UK body that investigates whether new trade remedy measures are needed to counter unfair import practices and unforeseen surges of imports. 

  • The TRA is an arm’s length body of the Department of International Trade (DIT) launched on 1 June 2021. Before its launch, it operated as the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) of DIT. 

  • UK industries concerned about imports have been able to submit applications for a new trade remedy measure since January 2021. These applications are considered by the TRA to see if there are grounds for an investigation.  

  • This is the third new case (not a transition review) that the TRA has opened and follows an investigation into potential dumping of Aluminium Extrusions that opened in June 2021 and a case involving ironing boards from Turkey which began earlier this month.

  • Anti-dumping remedies address imported goods which are being dumped in the UK at prices below what they would be sold for in their home country.  

  • Countervailing remedies deal with imports which benefit from subsidies in their home country which lower their production costs. Not all government subsidies are countervailable (can be countered using trade remedies) – the TRA’s guidance on subsidy investigations explains this in detail.

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    New investigations into imports of fibre optic cables from China

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