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The measures are supposed to shield European steel producers following the trade diversion of steel into the European Union’s market from other prodcuers across the globe, triggered by US introduction of tariffs on steel imports.

The European Commission is introducing definitive safeguard measures on steel imports that will enter into force since 2 February. The measures, which will replace the provisional ones in place since July 2018, target a list of 26 steel product categories in response to the decision by the United States to impose tariffs on steel imports.

They will remain in place for a period of three years, including the period of the introduction of the provisional measures, expiring on 16 July 2021.

The measures are to ensure that trade diversion, stirred by the US restrictive measures, is avoided. The protective steps include tariff-rate quota by which a 25 percent duty will aplly when the level of the traditional level of trade in steel is reached.

To ensure compliance with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the EU sent it a notification on the safeguard decision on 4 January.

In March 2018, US President Donald Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports from the EU and a handful of other countries. They took effect in June, prompting the 28-member bloc to come up with tit-for-tat measures.


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