There is no time to rest. We still need the EU to take immediate action to put surveillance measures and safeguards in place for our aluminium and steel products. European workers cannot, and should not, suffer from unfair dumping of cheap steel diverted from the US market.
This last-minute announcement was warmly received by European trade unions, but concerns remain regarding the indirect effects of these measures via the dumping of cheap steel on the European market. IndustriAll Europe is calling for urgent surveillance and safeguard measures to protect European workers.
Luis Colunga, Deputy General Secretary, industriAll Europe said:
“IndustriAll Europe has strongly fought against these unfair US tariffs and has been working closely with the European Commission and the European Parliament. Here in Europe, we provide high-quality products, respect international trading rules and don’t have any overcapacity. It was completely unreasonable for the EU to be targeted by these unjust measures in the first place.
“The EU’s temporary exemption from these unfair measures, while welcomed, still doesn’t go far enough to protect European jobs. We are still concerned about millions of tonnes of cheap steel being diverted from the US market and dumped on the EU market. We demand urgent surveillance and safeguards measures to prevent this from happening.”
Luc Triangle, General Secretary, industriAll Europe added:
“We would like to thank Commissioner Malmström and the European Commission for the dedication and determination displayed in the fight against these unfair tariffs to support European steel and aluminium workers. This last-minute confirmation that the EU will be exempted from these unjust protectionist measure from the US is welcomed is only temporary. This issue is far from over.
“There is no time to rest. We still need the EU to take immediate action to put surveillance measures and safeguards in place for our aluminium and steel products. European workers cannot, and should not, suffer from unfair dumping of cheap steel diverted from the US market.
“Alongside these urgent measures we continue to stress the need to work on a permanent solution to the issue facing both American and European workers. We demand an end to global overcapacity and unfair state aid.”
On 1 March 2018, US President Trump announced his intention to impose import duties of 10% on aluminium and 25% on steel from the EU. This is following the US Department of Commerce’s report on the Section 232 investigation regarding the effect of imported steel on US national security.
However, as the US Secretary of Defence has also stated that the US military requires approximately 3% of US steel production, any national security justification appears to be very weak.
The European steel market is in recovery but still suffers from high levels of steel imports, 40 million tonnes in 2017, despite multiple EU trade defence measures.
On 23 March, the day that the tariffs were due to enter into force, the White House announced that the EU alongside Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and South Korea would all be temporarily exempted until 1 May 2018.