(Yicai Global) July 19 -- The European Commission will impose provisional safeguard measures on some steel product imports to prevent steel shipments being redirected to the EU market as a result of US tariff actions, it announced yesterday, state news agency Xinhua reported.
The safeguard measures will take effect today, but traditional imports of steel products will be unaffected, the EC announced in a communique, also today. The provisional safeguard measures involve 23 categories of steel products in the form of 'tariff rate quotas.' The 25-percent tariffs will be imposed once imports exceed the average of imports over the last three years. The quota is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
The measures do not apply to developing countries with limited exports to the EU, or Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, the communique said.
The report did not mention the amount of Chinese steel products involved.
The US tariffs on steel imports are leading to trade diversion, and this may generate severe effects on EU steelmakers and workers in the industry, so the EU "has no choice" but to impose the provisional safeguard measures, the communique quoted EC Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem as saying.
The measures will remain in place for a maximum of 200 days, the commission also said. All interested parties will now have a chance to comment on the investigation's findings and the EC will reach a final conclusion by early next year at the latest. If all conditions are satisfied, the bloc will adopt the final safeguard measures.
US President Donald Trump signed executive orders on March 9 imposing 25 percent and 10 percent tariffs, respectively, on steel and aluminum imports. The EC initiated a safeguard investigation on steel product imports against the high steel and aluminum tariffs of the US, it announced March 26.
Editor: Ben Armour