All steel imports will now be subject to quotas until the end of June 2021 as part of a move by the European Commission to address the concerns of EU manufacturers who worry that markets may be flooded by products that are no longer imported to the United States.
The Commission says import volumes into the EU increased significantly from March 2018 when the United States imposed a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% levy on aluminium.
The main exporters of steel to the EU are China, India, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, and Ukraine.
The EU measures cover 26 steel product categories, with 25% tariffs applying once the quotas per category are filled. They will replace provisional measures that came into force in July 2018, which also include specific limits for major exporting countries. The quotas will apply to a three-month period as a way to limit stockpiling and may be increased by 5% each year.
Steel group Eurofer, whose members include the world’s largest steel producer, ArcelorMittal, and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp, welcomed the safeguards, but the European auto manufacturers association ACEA called the measures protectionist.