Market anticipates EU safeguard future proposal

A formal proposal from the European Commission on the future of steel safeguards beyond the end of June is expected imminently, Kallanish learns from sources in the market.

Valdis Dombrovskis, a European Commission executive vice president and its trade commissioner, explained in a recent webinar that the Commission is preparing a proposal for late May, but a decision is yet to be taken on the matter.

While he stressed that requests of steelmakers for an extension of the safeguards are being listened to carefully, he also mentioned that extending the measures beyond their three-year period would open the door to possible retaliation from third countries. “Turkey and Russia already made some noises on potential retaliation, so we need to take the potential impact of these into consideration as well,” Dombrovskis said.

He concluded by confirming that a proposal on broad carbon border adjustment is being finalised, which will also surely impact the steel sector, Kallanish understands.

Meanwhile, in the UK, authorities have issued their proposal to extend safeguard measures on some products for three years (see related article).

Earlier this week the EU and US agreed a truce on further trade measures with a view to discussing global steel overcapacity. This could well result in a bilateral agreement over Section 232 measures on steel, which were the initial reason for the European Union to launch safeguard measures three years ago.

Emanuele Norsa Italy