The European Commission will investigate whether to extend import duties on non-EU steel products following a request from a dozen of the bloc's member states.
A 25% duty is applied on steel trade flows into the EU which exceed historical levels up to the point the measure was introduced, in the summer of 2018. The historic trade volumes have been amended by the bloc to reflect the departure of Britain from the EU.
With the duty due to expire at the end of June, 12 EU member states have requested it be extended because of a continuing global steel production glut; because of protectionist measures which continue to be taken outside the EU; and because the new Biden administration in the U.S. has shown no signs of preparing to drop that nation's Section 232 trade measures against steel imports.
The measures apply to 28 types of steel product.
Interested parties have been asked to submit evidence within 15 days of the investigation being announced on Friday. The stakeholders will then be permitted to cross-respond to each others' submissions, with the commission indicating a decision must be reached before the duty lapses, on June 30.
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