The EU's competition watchdog on August 11 opened anti-dumping procedures against imports from China of an industrial chemical mainly used to clean metal and glass.
"There is sufficient evidence to justify the initiation" of an investigation into the complaint by the European Chemical Industry Council which believes that imports of the substance, sodium gluconate "are being dumped and are thereby causing material injury to the community industry," the European Commission said in the official EU journal.
The action is the latest measure taken by European authorities increasingly concerned about the effect of cheap products from China's massive workforce threatening EU manufacturers.
Last month China asked the European Union for talks under the WTO's disputes procedure over one of the biggest anti-dumping cases against China, EU measures on imports of Chinese-made screws and bolts.
The sodium gluconate investigation could last up to 15 months under EU rules and the European Commission could impose tariffs on Chinese exports of sodium gluconate if its finds that the allegations are justified.
The EU has already imposed such tariffs on a range of products ranging from steel to candles.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009