European steel employers demand caution before the new import quota

European steel employers demand caution before the new import quota



The European steel employers, Eurofer, welcomed positively today that the European Union countries have given the green light to the EU proposal to protect the European steel sector with an import quota, but warned that metal entries in the EU they must be closely watched.

The Member States endorsed yesterday to formalize the provisional measures of the European Union (EU) to protect the steel sector in response to US tariffs, consisting of an import quota after which an additional tariff of 25% is imposed.

"With imports growing by 12% in 2018, the need for an effective defense mechanism was essential, although there are elements of final measures that are not ideal," Eurofer said in a statement.

Eurofer CEO Axel Eggert said the final format of the measures "may undermine its safeguarding role" and urged the European Commission to "closely monitor developments in European steel demand" and to "adjust the generous fee without tariffs if necessary ".

The quota will initially be 5% higher than the volume equivalent to the average of entries to the Community market in the three previous years, and will suffer two increases of more than 5% in July this year and 2020.

Eurofer expressed its concern about this increase in the quota, "although steel demand is only expected to increase by 1% in 2019" and pointed out that this will leave European producers "fighting for an increasingly greater market share". little".

The measures seek to protect European steel producers from the entry into the market of this product originally destined for the United States and which does not arrive in this country because of the new 25% levies.

According to figures from Eurofer, two every three tons of steel that should have entered the United States have ended up in the European market in 2018 due to the tariff restrictions of the North American country.

Eurofer also claimed that countries exempt from these safeguard measures, among which are developing countries, lose this advantage in future revisions if it is shown that their share of exports is higher than initially calculated.

"While we reiterate our support for the final measures, as well as the overwhelming support they have received from the member states, we warn that steel demand should be closely monitored in the near future if we want this mechanism to be effective in the long term," he added. Eggert

The measures, approved by the EU partners by qualified majority, now need to be adopted by the European Commission and published in the Official Journal of the EU before coming into force, something that will take place before 4 February.

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