Mon. Oct 21st, 2019

The Government asks the EU to review steel tariffs after Brexit – The Province


The Spanish Government has asked the European Commission to carry out a"urgent" review of the safeguard measures of the steel sectorin the European Union (EU),once brexit occurs, in order to adapt them "as soon as possible" to the new situation and protect the sector from the entry of steel from abroad.

This has been made known by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, in a letter sent to the European Commissioner of Commerce, Cecilia Malmström, dated last Tuesday, October 8 and to which Europa Press has had access, in which he describes the matter as"of great interest to Spain", due to the importance of the sector for the economyand for the "difficulties" he has recently experienced.

The minister refers to the impact that the decision of the president of the United States had on the Spanish steel sector,Donald Trump, in July of last year, to imposea 25% tariff on steel imports, which led to the diversion of sales by international producers of this material to the community bloc, from all sources,especially from China and Turkey.

This new flow of imports, which also have a lower price than the European product, caused an overcapacity in Europe that damaged the sector. That is why the EU began applying safeguard measures to protect the European sector, with a 25% tariff that would be applied only if imports exceed the average recorded during the last three years.

These provisional measures became permanent on February 4, although now the Spanish Government, given the possible imminent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union,want to recalculate the quotas for all product categories.

"The steel companies of the Union are in a difficult situation to the point of considering the closure of some production lines and plants in the EU, due to low demand and competition from imports," explains the letter, advanced by 'The country'.

In this way, the minister argues the need forfollow the market closelyto adapt the safeguard measures to the demand for steel, thus limiting imports through tariff measures.

Likewise,MarotoHe thanked Malmström "the effort and work" carried out by his team to present a proposal for review of the measures, whose debate took place on September 4 and believes that "will solve the problems that have arisen during the first year" of application of the measure.

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