On September 7, a qualified majority of EU Member States (representing more than 65% of EU population) in Trade Defence Committee (TDC) rejected the European Commission’s (COM) proposal to impose Minimum Import Price (MIP)-based duties on hot-rolled steel from Brazil, Iran, Russia and Ukraine (AD 635), with some considering the measures too lax and others too tough.
As reported, the COM had unveiled plans to levy tariffs ranging between 5.3% and 33%, but it had also proposed to cap them with so-called minimum import price calculated at EUR 468 per ton. The European Steel Association Eurofer, which had lodged a complaint on behalf of our entire industry, criticized the minimum price element of the proposal. As a result, 16 EU countries opposed the overall plan, with 11, including those with steelmakers, speaking against the minimum cap and five rejecting any measure as a matter of principle, while 11 abstained and only one voted in favor. According to so-called comitology rules, the case will now either pass for further deliberation to a so-called appeals committee, also comprising the 28 EU members, or the COM submits it in an amended version back to the TDC. In appeal cases, the Commission also often revises its plans. Either way, both options must be exercised before Oct 7 when the final measures are due.