EU Expected To Clear Steel Import Curb After Trump Tariffs

- Jan 10, 2019-

The vote on Jan. 16 would put in place an effective cap on steel imports for three years to counter concerns of EU producers that European markets could be flooded by steel products that are no longer being imported into the U.S..

The bloc imposed “safeguard” measures on a provisional basis on imports of 23 steel product types in July, with an expiry date of Feb 4. The quota was set at the average level of imports over the past three years, with a 25 percent tariff applied if the quotas are filled.

The temporary measures won widespread backing from EU member countries, with only two abstaining.

“There is more scepticism than at the provisional stage. Steel users have been affected... but I expect there will be enough countries in favor to push the safeguards through,” one EU diplomat said.

The Commission’s proposal is similar to the provisional measures, although quotas would be set at the average of the last three years plus 5 percent. It has also set limits for major exporting countries. The quotas would apply for three-month periods in order to limit stockpiling and could be increased by 5 percent each year.

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