The EU has stated in a notification to the WTO that it intends to extend the EU Safeguard measures for three years. The decision comes amid worsening steel shortages and skyrocketing prices for many steel consumers in the downstream industry. And the UK also intends to introduce safeguards on selected steel products.
EU extends steel safeguard measures for another three years
The EU will extend safeguard measures on imports of steel products for another three years, leaving the product scope unchanged and allowing a 3% annual liberalization of tariff quotas. This is according to an official notification to the WTO published on June 11.
In it, the European Union also cites for the first-time statistical figures from Eurostat from the Corona year 2020. And uses them as one of its main arguments for extending the Safeguard measures until 2024.
With yesterday’s notification to the WTO, the EU has shown that it is more interested in the future of its steel producers than in that of the steel-consuming downstream industry.
ACEA: EU decision on steel imports disregards interests of automotive sector
In an initial reaction, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) has expressed its extreme disappointment at the European Commission’s proposal to extend the restriction on steel imports into the EU.
Steel shortages and high prices hammer downstream industry
Maintaining this safeguard measure disregards the interests of downstream steel consumers, such as the automotive sector. The proposal to extend the current restrictions by three years comes at an absolutely inopportune time in view of the acute bottlenecks in the European steel supply chain for auto manufacturers.
EU steel producers dictate prices and report record results
“In a market where EU steel producers are dictating prices and reporting record results, the idea that domestic steel is being seriously damaged by imports is hardly credible,” said ACEA Director General Eric-Mark Huitema.
TRA publishes final recommendation on steel safeguard measures
Separately from the European Union, the U.K.’s Trade Defence Regulation Authority on June 11 recommended continuing import safeguards on 10 categories of steel products, ranging from railroad equipment to stainless steel bars, on a tariff-rate quota basis for three years and lifting import restrictions on an additional nine product categories.
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