The European Commission has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of its findings in the safeguard investigation on certain steel products. Based on these, the Commission intends to impose definitive measures to replace the provisional measures in place since July 2018.
This investigation was launched in March 2018 as part of the European Union’s response to the decision by the United States to impose tariffs on steel products. It showed that imports of steel products into the EU increased significantly and that these imports are likely to increase further. This situation was aggravated by the trade diversion resulting from the US restrictive measures on steel taken under Section 232.
The EU steel industry has not yet fully recovered from the global steel crisis. It is still exposed to further increases of imports and ensuing downward pressure on prices. The proposed measures concern 26 steel product categories and will ensure that trade diversion is avoided whilst maintaining traditional levels of trade in steel on the EU market.
The Commission’s findings were previously submitted to EU Member States who will vote in mid-January on the Commission’s intended course of action. Following their adoption by the Commission, the definitive measures could enter into force in the beginning of February 2019.