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Parliamentary questions
17 May 2018
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001426/2018

The Commission has conveyed to US counterparts the EU's strong disagreement with the US measures, since it is a close security partner of the US and EU exports of steel and aluminium are neither a threat to US national security nor to the US industry. The EU is a strong supporter of the rules-based global trade system and believes that measures should always be taken within the framework of the World Trade Organisation which provides tools to effectively deal with trade differences.

The root causes of difficulties in the steel and aluminium industries are linked to problems of severe overcapacity in the context of non-market-oriented practices in third countries. In recent years, the EU took steps to better protect the steel industry, including in the trade defence domain. Steps included import surveillance, accelerated anti-dumping investigations, the opening of investigations based on threat of injury where justified, or the application of definitive duties retroactively where warranted.

As a result of trade defence action, Chinese imports of certain steel products have decreased by 99% since 2011. The EU measures on steel products protect 170,000 direct jobs with 150,000 of these relating to measures on steel from China.

The Commission will continue using all available tools to address unfair practices and the root causes of global excess capacity in steel, including in the G20-led Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity, whose objective is to eliminate market distorting state support measures. The Commission will continue to apply trade defence measures where warranted in order to restore fair conditions of trade.

Last updated: 17 May 2018Legal notice