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    An employee in protective clothing takes a sample from the furnace at the steel producer, Salzgitter AG, in Salzgitter, Germany, Thursday, March 22, 2018

    EU Commission Imposes Protective Measures on Steel Imports Amid US Tariffs

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    The measures are supposed to shield European steel producers following a trade diversion of steel into the European Union's market from other prodcuers across the globe, triggered by Washington's introduction of tariffs on steel imports.

    The European Commission is introducing definitive safeguard measures on steel imports that will enter into force starting 2 February. The measures, which will replace the provisional ones in place since July 2018, target a list of 26 steel product categories in response to the decision by the United States to impose tariffs on steel imports.

    READ MORE: EU Ready to Retaliate if US Imposes Any New Tariffs on Goods — Commission

    They will remain in place for a period of three years, including an introductory period for the provisional measures, expiring on 16 July 2021.

    The measures are to ensure that a trade diversion, stirred by the United States' restrictive measures, is avoided. The protective steps include a tariff-rate quota by which a 25 percent duty will apply when the traditional level of trade in steel is reached.

    To ensure compliance with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the EU sent it a notification on the safeguard decision on 4 January.

    Last week, European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom told Sputnik that the Commission expected to receive a mandate for trade negotiations with Washington on behalf of the EU to abolish duties on manufactured goods in the first half of this year.

    READ MORE: US May Lift Steel Tariffs Against EU If Trade Deal Successful — Economic Adviser

    This will be done within the framework of implementing July 2018 agreements between US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. At the time, the two agreed to negotiate "zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods".

    Trade disagreements between the US and the EU intensified after Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminium imports from the bloc and a handful of other countries in March 2018.

    READ MORE: EU Open to Talks on Equal Car Tariffs With US – German Minister

    They took effect in June, prompting the 28-member bloc to come up with tit-for-tat measures.

    The EU filed a complaint with the WTO over US tariffs, which affected $7.3 billion worth of metal imports from the union, and imposed duties on $3.3 billion worth of US products, including steel, food staples, agricultural goods, vessels and clothing.

    Although Trump said in July he would refrain from slapping new tariffs on EU goods, he has repeatedly threatened to hit the bloc with 25 percent tariffs on cars.

    Tags:
    steel, restriction measures, tariffs, measures, import, restrictions, Donald Trump, Jean-Claude Juncker, EU, United States
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