EU may face more unfair trade cases, EURMETAL told

The European Union remains a very attractive market for steel exporters and, with other regions showing increasing signs of protectionism, the EU may have to deal with more unfair trade investigations, according to Yurij Rudyuk of the law firm Van Bael & Bellis.

Speaking Thursday at Eurometal’s International Steel Trade Day in Frankfurt, Rudyuk noted that anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases had become an increasing phenomenon, with recent instances including Egypt and Ukraine. And, while the European Union has only launched three investigations in the last two years, he said that Europe’s attachment to trade would make it susceptible to imports as other markets shut the door.

“New users of trade defence instruments (Customs Union, Ukraine) have started a very active game with frequent initiations and a very protectionist stance. This may also affect the EU market,” he said.

Richard Chriss, executive director of the American Institute for International Steel Trade (AIIS) noted “in the past year advocates for steel protection have been strikingly successful, particularly in the US. In some countries government subsidized steel production continues to disrupt global markets… The political temptation to restrict imports is a very real one.”

One of the major issues noted at the conference was the extended amount of time required to initiate a dumping proceeding. “There are a lot of complaints about the slowness/length of the process. Normally it takes six to nine months to launch a proceeding, so half a year in just formalities then a further nine months before any temporary measures can be imposed,” Rudyk said.

Alexander Julius, CEO of the trading group Macrometals, said: “five years is a long time for duty to be imposed for, which is why I’m in favour of sufficient participants involved in an investigation.”

Peter Brennan / PLATTS / SBB Daily Briefing – 14 Nov 2014

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