The European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) has expressed their disappointment over the European Commission’s decision to extend EU safeguard measures on steel for another three years, similar to ACEA.
CLEPA noted that 19pc of the total steel demand in Europe is from the automotive sector where each car uses at least 1mt of steel, most of which comes from the EU. It added that although the automotive suppliers are allowed quarterly import quotas for various steel types, these allocations get used up in the first few days itself, making the suppliers pay 25pc additional import duties putting their costs above other regions.
The association further added that steel imports into the EU occur only when local suppliers are unable to fulfill demand or when specialized steel products are difficult to source. So the proposed extension for allocated quotas makes little difference to alleviate supply issues and may even hamper the economy as a whole.
EU’s automotive sector appoints close to 17 million employees directly and around 12 million in various manufacturing and assembly plants of vehicle parts. CLEPA stated that the safeguard measure will also impact the supply chain and risk jobs in the automotive industry and beyond.
CLEPA concluded that if the commission extends the current restriction by another three years, it could threaten the automotive sector’s recovery and competitiveness.