On January 4th, Brussels announced on the same day that theEU plans to maintain import tariff quotas for imports from July 2018 until July2021. The EU plans to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports that exceed 105% ofthe average import value in 2015-2017. The European Commission has notified theWTO of this safeguard. This measure targets all non-EU member states and willset separate national quotas for major exporters such as Turkey.
Safeguards are designed to stabilize European market pricesand prevent exports from shifting as a response to US steel tariffs. EU steelproducers said that tariff quotas effectively prevent steel from flooding intoEurope and require the European Commission to adopt permanent safeguards. Steelusers, especially car manufacturers, want to remove these restrictions. TheEuropean Commission announced today that it supports steel producers, but hasgiven an additional 5% duty-free import quota. According to the EU, the EUsteel industry has not fully recovered from the global steel crisis and isstill facing downward pressure on prices. The European Commission said thatmember states will vote on these measures in mid-January.