Swiss authorities express opposition to EU safeguards

Swiss government authorities expressed their opposition to the European safeguard system during a meeting last week on the free-trade agreement existing between Switzerland and Europe.

The safeguard measures have a negative impact on the country, which is strongly interconnected to the EU for the trade of steel and automotive components, according to a release from the Swiss economy ministry. In particular the ministry is condemning the decision to further limit trade by reducing the extension of quotas during the latest review finalised at the beginning of October.

“Switzerland maintains its commitment to the EU in favour of the absence of restrictions on trade in iron and steel products,” the note says.

According to the latest data published by Eurofer Switzerland imported over 600,000 tonnes/year of steel into Europe over the period from 2011 to 2018. During the first nine months of the current year, nevertheless, imports have not surpassed 370,000t.

Exports from the EU of steel products to Switzerland on the other hand have been 1.7-1.9 million t/y between 2011 and 2018. During the first nine months of 2019 these have surpassed 1.35 million tonnes, giving an annualised figure of over 1,800,000t. Kallanish calculates.