The EU Commission has launched an investigation to assess whether the existing steel imports safeguard measures should be extended beyond the June 30, 2021 deadline.
Twelve EU Member States initiated the request to extend protections on the industry, especially, given the negative economic effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. The conclusions from the investigation will be made public in a proposal to be voted on by the Member States prior to the expiration of present measures.
In July 2018, the EU Commission introduced a provisional safeguard measure on certain steel imports after initiating the investigation in March 2018. The measures were partially in response to trade restrictions imposed by the US through Section 232 and Section 301 measures. The Tariff-Rate-Quotas (TRQ) measure assessing traditional flows and levying a 25pc duty on those levels took effect in February 2019. The TRQ volumes were adjusted to reflect Brexit as of January 1, 2021.
In accordance with EU requirements and World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, the EU Commission’s investigation will seek to determine whether the industry is adjusting and if measures are necessary to remedy or prevent injury. The Commission reviewed the measure twice in October 2019 and again in July 2020.
As part of the process, interested parties have two weeks to comment and cross-comment on other’s submissions. Questionnaires have also been issued to various EU producers and stakeholders to assess economic conditions. Third country governments will also be involved in the proceedings.