European carmakers criticize EU’s measures on steel imports

Monday, 07 January 2019 15:29:52 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has stated that the European Commission’s (EC) decision to continue restrictions on imports of steel into the EU does not take into account the needs of the automotive sector and will impact the competitiveness of EU automobile manufacturers.

After the initiation of a safeguard investigation on steel imports into the EU in March 2018, the EC had started implementing a 25 percent duty in July. Then the commission proposed on December 20 that the provisional measures should continue until July 2021.

Questioning the comission’s decision, the ACEA argues for the necessity of steel imports. According to the ACEA, the automotive industry’s access to EU-produced steel remains limited in the face of high prices, while European steel producers are benefitting from high prices as indicated by their financial results.

“Imports of steel into the EU have increased over the last year because European manufacturing output has grown substantially since the economic crisis,” explained ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert. “Motor vehicle manufacturing has increased by 5 million units per year since 2014, and some increase in steel imports has been necessary to meet this higher demand,” he said.

Jonnaert also underlined that these measures have come at a challenging time in which the EU auto industry is already dealing with the effects of US tariffs on imports of motor vehicles and auto parts.

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