India proposes retaliatory duties on EU-origin steel imports

India has proposed to impose an additional €292 million ($346m) worth of import duties on products coming from the EU. The proposed duties will be in retaliation against quota restrictions put in place by the EU on steel imports from India.

India has submitted the request to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Kallanish notes. The nation will shortly provide details of the measures it plans to put in place, says an official tracking the matter.

“India estimated that the safeguard measures have resulted in the decline of exports to the tune of €1.168 billion, on which the duty collection would be €292.01 million,” the Indian WTO delegation says. “Accordingly, India’s proposed suspension of concessions would result in an equivalent amount of duty collected from products originating in the EU.”

“The suspension of concessions and other obligations will continue to apply until the safeguard measures of the EU are lifted,” it adds in the WTO application.

The EU implemented tariff rate quotas (TRQ) on steel imports, following the US decision to impose additional import duties on steel from several countries including Russia, India and Turkey. It fixed specific quotas for steel imports for exporting countries beyond which the items attracted additional import duties of 25%. The main reason behind the TRQs was to avoid the diversion of exports from the US market to the EU market.

“Subsequently, the EU came up with some changes in the TRQ administration that made the situation tougher for Indian exporters as they had tailored their exports as per the initial measures announced,” the official adds.

“Since the EU did not roll back the measure after discussions with India on the matter, India decided that it was justified to suspend concessions to the EU by increasing duties on imports from the region equivalent to the duties calculated on the affected Indian exports,” the official concludes.

In April-May, Indian hot-rolled flat exports to Italy clocked at 247,074 tonnes. Other major importers in the EU were Belgium (105,999t), and Spain (75,660t).

Sayed Aameer India