EU claims new steel tariffs ′working well′ | News | DW | 14.08.2019
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EU claims new steel tariffs 'working well'

The European Union has expressed its satisfaction with the 25% tariffs on steel products initially introduced last year. That increase came in response to the United States' decision to impose levies of their own.

Steel tariffs introduced by the European Union to protect domestic manufacturers against a surge in imports have "worked well," the European Commission said Wednesday.

The EU introduced 25% tariffs on 23 categories of steel products provisionally in July 2018 to offset the United States' increase in tariffs on global imports.

Read more: Are the good years over for German firms?

These measures were then introduced as a permanent feature in February 2019 to prevent "serious injury for the EU steel industry caused by increased imports and trade diversion, as a consequence of the US decision last year to impose tariffs on steel products."

A study into the EU's tit-for-tat response by the Union's executive branch, the Commission, began in May to assess progress. That research illustrated "that the measures have overall worked well during the first year of implementation," the Commission said in a press release.

Additional alterations proposed

Nevertheless, the investigating body made some further proposals as the EU look to fine tune the existing safeguards for the industry.

"The adjustments notified today to the World Trade Organization (WTO) aim however to make them more effective in full compliance with WTO rules."

"This could be achieved by (1) adjusting the functioning of the quota for some products, including hot-rolled flat steel and steel intended for the automotive sector, (2) updating the list of exclusions for developing countries on the basis of more recent imports statistics, and (3) slowing down liberalization of imports by reducing the pace of progressive increase of the import quotas from 5% to 3%."

The Commission is seeking approval from the affected WTO members, as well the EU member states, in order to implement the changes by October 2019.

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