How U.S. Steel Tariffs Are Impacting European Markets

How U.S. Steel Tariffs Are Impacting European Markets

With a deadline set to expire on American allies' exemption from U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs looming, the EU has been mulling a few options to offset the tariffs' effects, which its member nations have felt since they were enacted.

U.S. steel imports and tariffs

When President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in late March, American trade allies such as the European Union, Mexico and Canada received a temporary exemption.

But with that deadline set to expire June 1, the EU has been mulling a few options to offset the tariffs’ effects which its member nations have felt since they were enacted.

A Reuters report says the tariffs have led to an increase in volumes imported into Europe’s steel market, as some foreign manufacturers divert their product to the EU in an effort to escape the U.S. tariffs. The head of Germany’s steel association told the media that the EU must quickly implement measures to prevent foreign steel from flooding the EU market, suggesting that it impose its own quotas or tariffs.

Bloomberg reported that the EU is mulling the option of imposing quotas on metal imports to the U.S. in an effort to avert a trans-Atlantic trade war should Trump’s tariffs go into effect.

French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel met with President Trump at the White House last week to discuss a range of foreign policy matters that included the Iran nuclear deal and the tariffs. However, Merkel revealed that no breakthrough was reached with Trump on a tariff exemption for the EU, the BBC reported. 

Meanwhile, U.S. tariffs on steel may prevent a revival in the European steel market. A European Steel Association report raised Europe’s 2018 forecast for apparent steel consumption with the industry having firmer footing, Reuters reports. 

Multiple media outlets report that the EU has said it will set duties on 2.8 billion euros ($3.36 billion) of U.S. exports, including peanut butter and denim jeans, if its metals exports to the U.S., worth 6.4 billion euros (approx. $7.6 billion), are subject to tariffs.

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