EU to implement provisional safeguard measures on imported steel

The European Commission (EC) told EU member states on Thursday July 5 of its intention to introduce provisional safeguard measures on steel imports in the form of a tariff rate quota (TRQ).

The proposed plan “received overwhelming support from member states gathered in the Safeguards Committee, and the new measures will enter into force once formally adopted by the Commission in July,” the EC said on July 6.

Additional duties will be levied only after a tariff rate quota is exceeded, based on a traditional level of imports.

The EC opened an investigation into 26 steel products in late March, in an attempt to prevent steel shipments being redirected to the EU market as a result of the United States imposing its Section 232 import tariffs. Two more products were added to the list in late June.

The adoption of safeguard measures was part of the EU’s three-pronged response to the unilateral US decision to impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imports from Canada, Mexico and the EU from June 1, after ending a one-month exemption.

The proposed measures in the EU were “intended to prevent the negative effects of trade diversion, but at the same time to maintain traditional supply and effective competition in the EU market,” the EC said.

The safeguard investigation will continue at least until the end of 2018.

The EU has also decided to adopt rebalancing measures by imposing duties on a list of US products.

The European authorities had been expected to announce preliminary safeguarding measures on steel imports early this month.

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