EU agrees to bring safeguard measures on some steel products in conformity with GATT

The EU and Turkey have agreed that the EU will modify its safeguard measures on certain steel products until Jan. 16, 2023 to comply with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, the World Trade Organization announced Aug. 9.

The EU introduced safeguard measures in July 2018 in the form of tariff-rate quotas.

In March 2020, Turkey requested consultations with the EU concerning the provisional and definitive safeguard measures imposed on imports of certain steel products and the investigation that led to the imposition of those measures.

It then requested the establishment of a panel in mid-July 2020, which was deferred by the dispute settlement body on July 29.

In a general WTO panel report released April 29, 2022, the WTO called on the EU to bring its measure into conformity with the agreement on safeguards and the GATT.

The panel said at the time that it found the EU steel safeguard WTO-compatible on most of the points which Turkey had questioned, while it also found, on three points, that the EU safeguard measure lacked sufficient justification.

The EU is traditionally one of Turkey’s largest steel importers and one of its largest steel suppliers.

Turkish exports of hot-rolled coils fell 7% year on year to 1.02 million mt in the first half of 2022 due to lower EU demand, according to the latest Turkish Statistical Institute data.

Turkish exported HRC was assessed at $620/mt FOB Aug. 5, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data, representing a $600/mt decline from mid-March.

— Cenk Can