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EU steel tariffs: Switzerland is likely to come away with a blue eye

The Swiss steel industry is likely to have luck in the misfortune: you can benefit from country-specific tariff quotas. At the end of March 2018, the dispute between the U.S. and China as U.S. President Donald Trump punitive tariffs escalated imposed on steel imports from China.

The EU feared that the actually for the United States as provided for steel from China now exports to Europe and to the domestic steel industry is at risk. The increase in steel imports, indicated at least in this scenario, the EU decided in July, provisional safeguard measures on steel imports for 200 days.

values in this period a certain threshold – in the jargon "global quotas" – exceeded, to be charged for steel imports from third countries protective tariffs of 25 per cent. The Swiss steel industry is affected by these measures.

exception for Switzerland required

The end of 2018, resigned as economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann as well as several Swiss diplomats tried to obtain a guarantee from the EU exemptions for the steel industry.

"put Switzerland at the EU Commission and the EU member States to ensure that the protection measures are not designed in such a way that they restrict trade between Switzerland and the EU", writes the state Secretariat for economic Affairs (Seco), on request the news Agency Keystone-SDA. Seco also refers to "the obligations of the free trade agreement Switzerland-EU 1972".

Although the EU Commission acknowledged that Switzerland was not measures goal to protect, but they seemed to show initially little interest in Switzerland steel to grant the industry an exemption - what, from the perspective of Switzerland world trade organisation, WTO, in accordance with the would be possible.

Swiss Effort has brought worth it

But apparently, the Swiss efforts have something. Although the EU has informed the Commission at the end of last week, the WTO, the provisional protection measures are now to be transferred to definitive. Of a total of 26 product groups in the steel industry are affected. However, the Commission acknowledged in its communication, the EU wishes to preserve the "well-established trade flows".

Because, in the case of the EU introduced provisional global quotas, all third countries will be treated equally and with additional duties being punished, as soon as the predefined import threshold is exceeded. No matter if a third country exported only recently at dumping prices, or whether between the third state and the EU countries, a well-established trade relationship.

in Order to punish the latter, not unjustifiably, in accordance with an important steel products for these countries the EU Commission is not the global tariff quotas, but "individual quotas", such as Brussels.

is not Yet completely out of the woods

The good news for the Swiss steel industry. According to Seco, this means that the EU is Switzerland-calculated specific quotas. The main Swiss steel exports would benefit "to the country-specific tariff quotas".

This relates to, for example, wire rod, used in the automotive industry. Also, steel bars, both in the automotive industry, as well as on the construction used, the benefits of the Switzerland-specific quotas.

4. February, in power

Completely out of the woods, the producers, the benefit of this specific Switzerland-quotas are not, however. According to Seco must be designed to be "the quotas big enough, so that the bilateral trade can be carried on". The yet to be seen.

Despite the good news, a small drop of bitterness remains: Not all of the Swiss steel products, there are special quotas. Companies that export about hot rolled steel sheets, also need to continue to do with global quotas. For these products, a sufficiently large global quota should be provided but "" writes the Seco.

The EU Commission, in its communication, the final protective measures against steel imports at the 4. To be able to February.


Created: 09.01.2019, 10:47 PM

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