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Revision of EU Steel Safeguard Improves on Technical Weaknesses – Mr Eggert

Steel News - Published on Wed, 09 Oct 2019

Image Source: EURACTIV
The EU has published and implemented its revision of the EU steel safeguard. The new design of the tariff-free quota will better stabilise trade flows by containing import concentration from certain exporting countries. While the changes have resulted in improvements, the result is still not sufficient for a large part of the sector, especially given that it is facing depressed domestic steel demand. Speaking after the publication of the revised measures on 27 September, the European Steel Association’s Director General, Mr Axel Eggert said that “The largest part of the steel sector is still being squeezed, hampered by unsustainable import pressure – pressure that will not abate, despite the changes made today.”

Mr Eggert said that “The steel sector is now back in choppy waters – demand is falling and imports are still at a very high level. The safeguard nevertheless keeps the door open for these historically high import volumes, even as market conditions deteriorate. We hope that the Commission will, in due course, further review the artificially high tariff free quota level and reduce it to close to the 2015-17 import volume.”

Mr Eggert added that “We had 18 ‘good’ months between the acute effects of Chinese dumping being stamped out towards the end of 2016 and the imposition of the US’ Section 232 tariffs in mid-2018. Imports have remained high and are increasingly concentrated from a handful of trade partners, including Turkey, Russia and China. This concentration has not been diminished by the safeguard measures. Steel prices have collapsed, even as costs continue to rise”.

While noting the fresh revision will have to be seen in action before conclusions can be drawn, EUROFER urges the EU to continue to defend the sector against unfair trade from third countries.

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Posted By : Ratan Singh on Wed, 09 Oct 2019
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