On Friday 6 July 2018 the European Commission announced that it had received overwhelming support from EU member states for its plan for a safeguard on steel products coming into the EU.
The Commission’s plan involves a Tariff-Rate Quota (TRQ). This means that the tariff would only affect imports above the level of traditional imports – meaning that access to vital imported steel would be sustained but additional surges of steel would be warded off.
In its statement the European Commission said:
“The Commission yesterday presented its intention to Member States to introduce provisional safeguard measures on steel under the form of a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ). The Commission's plan received overwhelming support by Member States gathered in the Safeguards Committee and the new measures will enter into force once formally adopted by the Commission in July. Additional duties will be levied only after a tariff rate quota, based on the level of traditional imports, is reached. The adoption of safeguard measures was part of the three-pronged EU's response to the unilateral US decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium. This is intended to prevent the negative effects of trade diversion, but at the same time maintain traditional supply and effective competition on the EU market. An investigation towards possible imposition of safeguard measures on steel was launched on 26 March. On the basis of the investigation to date, the Commission considers that provisional measures are warranted. The most recent import statistics show trade diversion of steel products into the EU as a result of the additional 25% tariff on steel imposed by the US. The investigation continues at least until the end of 2018. The Commission has also put in place a surveillance system for imports of aluminium to be prepared in case action will be required in that sector. The EU has also decided to adopt rebalancing measures by imposing duties on a list of US products and legal proceedings were launched against the US in the WTO on 1 June.” (Source: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEX-18-4389_en.htm#3)
EUROFER welcomes this united response to the global challenges that European steel industry is facing and looks forward to the publication of the provisional Safeguards Regulation.
The provisional measures, when they are published in the Official Journal in mid-July, will go a long way to ensuring the stability of the internal market. The investigation continues, with final measures anticipated by the end of 2018.
EUROFER will continue to support the Commission in its work to prevent harm to European steel industry.