EU trade commissioner opens door to safeguard review

The European trade commissioner Phil Hogan this week opened the door to a possible review of the EC steel safeguard measures in a more restrictive way.

Hogan said in a video meeting with the European Parliament that there is growing concern that third countries could flood Europe with steel imports, to gain share in an already shrinking steel market.  As planned the new quotas will become available at the beginning of July, but a review is ongoing and should be finished before the new quotas are available. He added the review needs to ensure that the measures are still effective. He also aknowledged the ongoing contacts he has with stakeholders concerned about the possibility of imports disrupting the steel sector at a time when demand is falling due to the Covid-19 emergency.

Since the beginning of April, a number of groups have supported the original request made by Eurofer to cut the safeguard quotas available from July by -75%. This would be in order to align them to falling steel demand in Europe. This week the European trade unions IndustriALL sent a letter to Hogan (see Kallanish 21 April) and support was also confirmed by a wide group or members of the European Parliament earlier last week.