June 15, 2020

EU Alters Steel Quota Restrictions

As Politico reported June 12, members of the European Union (EU), including Germany, France, and Poland told EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan that they want to tighten the countries’ current quota restrictions on steel imports. The countries argued that this measure is needed because of “the aggressive behavior of some exporting countries, which may seek to accentuate their market pressure in a context of depressed demand” caused by the coronavirus.

Politico reminded readers that the EU initially put these restrictions in place in July 2018 to avoid being “swamped” with imports after the Trump administration put in place its 25 percent Section 232 tariffs on steel imports.

The EU had adjusted its policy last fall, and just hours after the Politico report was published, a qualified majority of 20 EU member states voted to amend the quota policy. According to Argus Media, the European Commission plans to formally adopt the measure so that it enters into force by July 1, 2020 “at the latest.” Argus said “EU officials gave away few details, saying ‘the act modifies the current safeguard measures in a number of areas concerning the management of the tariff quotas.’”

Stay tuned to Connecting the Dots as more information becomes available about these changes.