In March 2018, the US imposed tariffs on steel imports to the US of 25%. These measures applied to the EU as of June 2018. The EU reacted by imposing retaliatory tariffs on EU-bound EU products in late June 2018. In order to ward off the destabilising effects of deflected steels, a provisional EU safeguard on steel imports followed on 18 July 2018. The EU decided to implement a final safeguard measure in February 2019, which will last for four years, with annual reviews.
Essentially, the safeguard is a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) of 100% based on the import levels in 2015-2017, with a dissuasive 25% tariff above that. There are further specific rules regarding quarterly quotas for certain products and countries, with limited exceptions. These change periodically as the safeguard is reviewed.
Brussels, 16 July 2020 - A Special European Council is taking place in Brussels on 17-18 July to discuss the EU’s long-term budget and Recovery Plan/Next Generation EU. The European Steel Association (EUROFER) welcomes the Recovery Plan but calls on leaders to take additional, immediate measures to ensure a quick and sustainable economic resurgence.
Brussels, 30 June 2020 – IndustriAll European Trade Union and the European Steel Association (EUROFER) have reiterated their deep disappointment at the EU’s decision to not adjust the tariff-free import quota for steel in the light of the collapse in EU steel demand. The steel sector had called for significant, short-term changes to the EU steel safeguards to preserve the industry during this pandemic-induced economic downturn.
The European steel industry’s survival is at further, serious risk because the Commission’s steel safeguard review proposal does not consider the sharp collapse in demand following the COVID pandemic. The tariff-free quota should reflect EU steel demand. The European steel sector is deeply disappointed that the Commission and many EU governments have not yet decided to consider this.