On 1 June, the US imposed duties against a range of steel and aluminium products, including those from the EU. The Commission concurs with amfori’s assessment that the ‘security exemptions’ used by the US to justify its actions are not valid. Therefore, and in full compliance with the WTO Safeguard Agreement, the EU has notified to the WTO a list of US products on which it will apply extra import duties. The additional duty rate will be 25% and will take effect as from 20 June.
“The threat of this action was known for some time but like many others I did not believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. The justification for the duties is not only legally flawed but also economically flawed. It will not ‘make America great’ again, in fact it will damage those users who rely on imported steel and aluminium. In addition, we now face the very real prospect of a tit-for-tat scenario. And no-one wins a trade war. The notion of free trade has been driving amfori's action for more than 40 years, but at a time like this we see the necessity for the EU to take measures which go against this principle; the retaliatory measures are understandable, and justifiable. I only hope that in the coming weeks negotiations will continue and ties will not be cut so to allow for a sound and diplomatic solution. Together we have to find the right answer to avoid that the conflict escalates”, said amfori Director General, Christian Ewert.
amfori will be following the situation closely for future developments.