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US duties on EU steel and aluminium and EU reaction - for information

On the 31st of May 2018, the US administration has announced that additional duties on imports of steel (25%) and aluminium (10%) from the EU and other countries will be imposed.

In return, the European Union has announced that it will:  

  • trigger a dispute settlement case at the WTO, since these US measures clearly go against agreed international rules.”
  • impose rebalancing measures vis-à-vis the US. The Council has decided on the 31st of May to go ahead with immediate rebalancing measures based on the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Safeguards as of the 1st of June, at the same time as US tariffs. This will concern goods worth nearly €3 billion, including steel products, motorcycles and video game consoles.
  • take any necessary steps to protect the EU market from trade diversion caused by these US restrictions. The protective steps will be safeguard measures on imports of steel and aluminium diverted from the US market.

Please find enclosed the statement by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker on the matter.

Moreover, the US is considering imposing 25% additional tariffs on autos, which could also be justified by the US on the ground of national security.

Please find enclosed the Orgalime statement, issued in April 2018, when the possibility of additional duties from the US was already looming.

In the Position Paper Orgalime stressed:

  • the centrality of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)
  • our support for a constructive and well-balanced use of trade defence instruments.
  • Our caution against the hasty use of EU rebalancing measures, which could have potentially counter-productive effects on the global supply chains of the European engineering industry.