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EU Imposes Steel Safeguards to Address Diversion Due to U.S. Tariffs

Friday, July 20, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Effective July 19 the European Commission imposed provisional safeguard measures on imports of a number of steel products in an effort to prevent the diversion of steel from other countries to the EU market as a result of the U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said these measures “will maintain traditional trade flows” and should “strike the right balance between the interest of EU producers and users of steel, like the automotive industry and the construction sector, who rely on imports.”

(Click here for ST&R’s web page providing comprehensive information on all U.S. tariffs imposed under Section 301 and Section 232 as well as the retaliatory tariffs trading partners are levying on U.S. goods.)

According to an EC press release, for each of 23 categories of steel products tariffs of 25 percent will be imposed once imports exceed the average of imports over the last three years. The quota will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and will thus not be not allocated by individual exporting country at this time. These measures are being imposed against all countries except (a) some developing countries with limited exports to the EU and the European Economic Area countries (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein).

The provisional measures can remain in place for a maximum of 200 days. All interested parties will now have the opportunity to comment and the Commission will take this input into consideration in reaching its final conclusion, which will come by early 2019 at the latest. If all conditions are met, definitive safeguard measures may be imposed as a result.

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