TRADE: EU adopts rebalancing measures in reaction to US steel and aluminium tariffs

The European Commission adopted today the regulation putting in place the EU’s rebalancing measures in response to the US tariffs on steel and aluminium. The measures will immediately target a list of products worth €2.8 billion and will come into effect on Friday 22 June.

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “We did not want to be in this position. However, the unilateral and unjustified decision of the US to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice. The rules of international trade, which we have developed over the years hand in hand with our American partners, cannot be violated without a reaction from our side. Our response is measured, proportionate and fully in line with WTO rules. Needless to say, if the US removes its tariffs, our measures will also be removed.” By putting these duties in place the EU is exercising its rights under the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). US imports that will now face an extra duty in the EU include steel and aluminium products, agricultural goods and a combination of various other products. The list of products is the same as in the previous Implementing Regulation of 16 May and as notified to the WTO on 18 May. EU Member States have expressed their unanimous support for this approach. Today’s decision is part of the three-pronged EU’s response that also includes the launch on 1 June of legal proceedings against the US in the WTO and safeguard action to protect the European market from disruptions caused by the diversion of steel from the US market. For more information, see the press release. The implementing regulation triggering the balancing measures will be available in the EU Official Journal tomorrow.