Background

European Union member states have greenlighted a proposal by the European Commission to impose definitive safeguard measures on steel imports, which will replace the provisional measures in place since July 2018. According to the EC, these measures are designed to protect European steel producers following the trade diversion of steel into the EU market from other producers around the world as a result of the additional duties adopted by the U.S. under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

The definitive safeguard measures consist of country-specific tariff-rate quotas for the largest supplying countries as well as a global TRQ for all other suppliers based initially on average import levels during 2015-2017 plus five percent. In-quota imports will be subject to regular rates of duty while shipments over the applicable TRQ will face an additional 25 percent duty. The safeguard measures will cover 26 steel product categories, are expected to enter into force in early February, and can remain in place until July 2021.

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