Brussels, 1 March 2018 – President Trump has decided to impose a US import tariff of 25% on steel imports. The tariff covers all steel coming from all countries totalling 35 million tonnes representing a value of $30 billion (2017).
President Trump has chosen the most disruptive option among those recommanded by his Secretary of Commerce: a prohibitive tariff instead of a quota that would have allowed close US trade partners and allies including the EU countries to maintain their traditional presence in the US market.
"From one day to the next, EU steel exports to the US - which were at 5 million tonnes in 2017 - will be severely hit. The same will happen with all other countries exporting steel to the US. We expect that the tariff could restrict US imports by up to 20-25 million tonnes overall. This would represent a volume representing more than half the total EU imports of 2017 (40 million tonnes)", said Axel Eggert, Director General of the European Steel Association (EUROFER).
"In the current context of massive global excess steel capacity, markets will be forced to take preventive contingency actions to avoid domestic market disruption from trade deflection", added Mr Eggert.
EUROFER calls for a continued focus by governments on addressing the root causes of global excess capacity, including recommendations for strong subsidy and government support disciplines pursued in the frame of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity meeting on 7-9 March in Paris.
"We welcome the announcement of the Commission that appropriate and swift measures will be taken to safeguard the interests and jobs in our industry. The EU must not allow that the moderate recovery in our industry over the last year is now being destroyed by the EU's most important political ally", concluded Mr Eggert.
Axel Eggert, firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles de Lusignan, email@example.com