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    Dutch potato starch supplier Avebe said it is investigating whether legal steps can be taken in response to China’s decision last week to stick countervailing duties on top of existing anti-dumping duties on potato starch imports from the EU.

    Johan Russchen, a spokesperson for Avebe, told that the company “does not understand why this investigation was started” since the EU-subsidies in question were already set to be phased out next year.

    “We are investigating whether further (legal) steps can be taken,” added Russchen.

    John Clancy, European Commission trade spokesperson, in an emailed statement to this publication, also expressed disappointment at the action: “The EU regrets the imposition of final anti-subsidy duties against imports of potato starch produced in the EU by China.”

    He confirmed that the two EU support schemes countervailed will be completely phased out by the middle of 2012.

    “No payments have been made under the third scheme (export refunds) for a number of years and none will be paid in the foreseeable future,” continued Clancy.

    The Avebe spokesperson stressed that the company is not dependent on the Chinese market, as it has an extensive global supply network. He added that the impact of the Chinese duties on EU starch producers will “depend on the actual market situation” at any given time.