EUROFER asks European Commission to reduce safeguard quotas

Thursday, 21 May 2020 17:56:17 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

The European Steel Association (EUROFER) has once more the European Commission to ensure that safeguard quota volumes for steel imports are reduced. In a letter sent to the Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan, EUROFER said that the European steel industry is facing an unprecedented economic challenge, especially because steel demand has collapsed by more than 50 percent since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The association said it supports the European Commission's "efforts to help member states to provide liquidity to companies as well as its preparation of an EU Recovery Plan," but it also said that "the positive outcomes of the Recovery Plan will only materialise in the mid- to long-tem."

"The European steel industry has already reduced steel capacity by more than 20 million tonnes over the past ten years," continued EUROFER, adding that countries such as China, Turkey, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea, Egypt, and Indonesia, on the other end, did "refuse to restructure their domestic capacity despite intense discussion at the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity."

EUROFER expressed its belief that the risk of deflection of steel exports to the EU has increased, and therefore the current safeguard quotas need to be reduced "considerably". In addition, the association proposed that "the transfer of unused quotas to subsequent quarters should not be allowed because saving such quantities would facilitate sudden import increases later." EUROFER also said that countries that have increased their imports under the residual quotas above a five percent import share should be assigned to a country-specific quota based on the reference period 2015-17.

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