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EU Commission Announces Safeguard Measures To Curb Steel Imports

The European Commission announced on Friday that it was imposing definitive safeguard measures on imports of steel products into the European Union in order to continue countering the steel tariffs that Washington imposed in summer.
The provisional measures were announced in July 2018, following an investigation into steel products imports into the European Union in the wake of Washington’s move to introduce new import duties on steel and aluminum.
The investigation was expected to be concluded within nine months.
“Today, the European Commission published a regulation imposing definitive safeguard measures on imports of steel products.
These measures will take effect tomorrow, 2 February, and replace the provisional ones in place since July 2018,” the commission said in a press release.
According to the press release, the investigation had revealed that imports of steel products into the European Union had seen a significant increase, triggered by Washington’s restrictions.
This put EU steelmakers at disadvantage due to overcapacity in the global steel market and an “unparalleled number of unfair trade practices by certain trading partners.
“These measures are fully in line with the EU’s WTO [World Trade Organization] commitments and have been carefully shaped to preserve a continued flow of imports that guarantees effective competition in the European steel market and sufficient choice for the numerous EU users of steel,” the commission added.
The regulations consist of tariff-rate quotas, which preserve the traditional levels of EU imports and are slated to increase progressively.
“This system is similar to the provisional measures currently in place, with some important modifications that minimise trade disruptions and preserve traditional trade arrangements in terms of quantities and origins,” the release added.
The measures will remain in place for a period of up to three years but can be reviewed if the need arises.
Last March, US President Donald Trump signed an order authorizing a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.
While the European Union initially received an exemption, along with Canada and Mexico, the exemption was removed in June.
The bloc responded with introducing tariffs on a variety of US goods.