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EU curbs steel imports until 2021 to counter US trade policies

EU curbs steel imports until 2021 to counter US trade policies
The European Union has set restrictions on imports of steel to the bloc in response to US President Donald Trump’s imposition of tariffs on metals imported into the US.

The safeguard measures approved on Wednesday impose quotas on 26 product categories, and levy a 25 percent duty on imports exceeding those quotas, according to the European Commission (EC).

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“The definitive measures aim to preserve traditional trade flows,” it said, noting that EU member countries had backed the plan to impose “safeguards” and that definitive measures would come into force early in February.

The bloc had already imposed safeguards on a provisional basis on imports of 23 steel product types in July, with an expiry date of February 4.

The Commission’s plan involves a quota set at the average level of imports over the past three years, plus five percent. A 25 percent tariff would apply once the quotas are filled.

The main exporters of steel to the EU are China, India, Russia, South Korea, Turkey and Ukraine.

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According to the Commission, import volumes into the trade bloc increased significantly from March 2018, when the United States imposed tariffs of 25 percent on imports of steel and 10 percent on aluminum. Washington extended those measures to the European Union, Canada and Mexico in June.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has called the EU’s safeguards protectionist, claiming that steel exports to the United States have only dropped slightly and so little extra steel has been diverted to Europe.

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