“US choses global trade confrontation” warns EUROFER as President Trump adopts Section 232 National Security trade measures on steel   

Brussels, 1 March 2018 – President Trump has decided to impose a US import tariff of 25% on steel imports.  The tariff covers all steel coming from all countries totalling 35 million tonnes representing a value of $30 billion (2017).

President Trump has chosen the most disruptive option among those recommanded by his Secretary of Commerce: a prohibitive tariff instead of a quota that would have allowed close US trade partners and allies including the EU countries to maintain their traditional presence in the US market.

“From one day to the next, EU steel exports to the US – which were at 5 million tonnes in 2017 – will be cut drastically by an estimated 50% or more. The same will happen with all other countries exporting steel to the US. We expect that the tariff could restrict US imports by up to 20-25 million tonnes overall. This would represent a volume representing more than half the total EU imports of 2017 (40 million tonnes)”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of the European Steel Association (EUROFER).

 “In the current context of massive global excess steel capacity, markets will be forced to take preventive contingency actions to avoid domestic market disruption from trade deflection”, added Mr Eggert.

EUROFER calls for a continued focus by governments on addressing the root causes of global excess capacity, including recommendations for strong subsidy and government support disciplines pursued in the frame of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity meeting on 7-9 March in Paris.

 “We welcome the announcement of the Commission that appropriate and swift measures will be taken to safeguard the interests and jobs in our industry. The EU must not allow that the moderate recovery in our industry over the last year is now being destroyed by the EU’s most important political ally”, concluded Mr Eggert.

Section 232 report

The Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act steel report can be found: here

About the European Steel Association (EUROFER)

EUROFER AISBL is located in Brussels and was founded in 1976. It represents the entirety of steel production in the European Union. EUROFER members are steel companies and national steel federations throughout the EU. The major steel companies and national steel federations in Switzerland and Turkey are associate members.

About the European steel industry

The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 320,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 160 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 22 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.

Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.