The European Union is resorting to trade protectionism to protect European steelmakers, which are going through a hard time due to protectionist trade policy of the United States.
The EU recently decided to extend its 60.5% anti-dumping tariff on South Korean steel ropes and cables for five years. The tariff extension is applied to every South Korean company in the steel industry with the exception of 15 firms, including KIS Wire. The EU made an issue of transshipment of steel materials made in China in making the decision.
According to industry insiders, this is to block steel imports from countries other than China by making issue of the materials produced in China. The EU managed to reduce steel imports from China by more than 40% last year by means of strict trade restrictions, but steel from other countries is taking its place these days. For example, steel exports from India to Europe have increased by almost 100% and those from Turkey have risen by 64%. South Korean steel exports to Europe jumped from 1.95 million tons to 3.5 million tons from 2014 to last year. At present, India, Turkey, China and South Korea are the four largest steel suppliers in the European market.
The EU’s anxiety has to do with the Donald Trump administration’s policy. Steel products from third countries are predicted to flow into Europe in the wake of U.S. steel tariffs. It is in this context that the EU announced last month to consider safeguards against imported steel products.