The European Union hopes to reorganize its restrictions on steel imports as a preemptive decision to protect the bloc from major economic fluctuations as it recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The European Commission said: “It is of fundamental importance that the gradual resumption of activities and the return to normalcy take place in an orderly manner, so that all steel market participants in the EU find their traditional place. The proposed adjustments should contain any inappropriate accumulating behavior in the earliest stages of recovery that could devastate the market in an opportunistic manner. Such opportunistic practices not only seriously jeopardize the obligation to maintain traditional trade flows in terms of origin, but also pose the risk of unduly crowding out domestic production. ”
The measures will lead to the imposition of a 25 per cent tariff on imports of 26 types of steel, including stainless hot rolled steel, cold rolled sheet for rebar and railroad material, after these supplies exceed the three-year average. The new regime does not provide for a reduction in quotas. Import limits or tariff rate quotas would entail a shift to quarterly management of all country specific quotas and replace the global TRW for hot rolled flat products with combined country specific quotas for major suppliers and residual quotas for others.
The changes are expected to start on July 1 and will apply to import restrictions introduced two years ago to prevent flooding in European markets following the introduction of a 25 percent import tariff.