The EU Commission is planning to protect domestic heavy industry against cheap imports with protective tariffs on various steel products. Criticism comes from the automobile industry.
The European Union is introducing special taxes on steel products this Thursday to prepare European manufacturers for a flood of imports. This is the Commission’s reaction to US President Donald Trump’s introduction of tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
Companies such as Thyssenkrupp, ArcelorMittal and Voestalpine fear that the new US tariffs could cause serious market distortions and flood Europe with steel imports, for example from China. There, the manufacturers are sitting on goods that were actually produced for the US market and were not accepted.
Automobile industry sees itself at a disadvantage
According to the decision made in Brussels, quotas will now be set for 23 steel products, based on the average quantities of the past three years. If these quantities are exceeded, a duty of 25 percent will be payable. However, the measures are only provisional. After 200 days a first interim conclusion is to be drawn.
While the German Steel Association is convinced of the necessity of the measure, criticism is coming from the automobile companies, whcih are mainly steel buyers. The EU Commission is damaging the competitiveness of the automobile industry, according to the Association of the European Automotive Industry. The already high steel prices in the European market would continue to rise.