Trade: Commission imposes provisional safeguard measures on imports of steel products

Today the European Commission published a regulation imposingprovisional safeguard measures concerning imports of steel products. These measures will address the diversion of steel from other countries to the EU market as a result of the recently imposed US tariffs.

The safeguard measures will come into effect on Thursday 19 July. Traditional imports of steel products will not be affected. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “The US tariffs on steel products are causing trade diversion, which may result in serious harm to EU steelmakers and workers in this industry. We are left with no other choice than to introduce provisional safeguard measures to protect our domestic industry against a surge of imports. These measures nevertheless ensure that the EU market remains open, and will maintain traditional trade flows. I am convinced that this strikes the right balance between the interest of EU producers and users of steel, like the automotive industry and the construction sector, who rely on imports. We will continue to monitor steel imports in order to take a final decision by early next year, at the latest. The provisional measures concern 23 steel product categories and will take the form of a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ). Tariffs of 25% will only be imposed once imports exceed the average of imports over the last three years. In line with the World Trade Organisation rules, the measures concern imports from all countries. Exceptions are made for some developing countries and the European Economic Area countries: Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The provisional measures can remain in place for a maximum of 200 days. Definitive safeguard measures may be imposed as a result of further investigation that continues until the end of 2018. For more information, see full press release and the Commission regulation available online.