Restricted steel imports will harm auto industry, says ACEA
The European Commission’s decision to propose measures to continue restrictions on imports of steel into the EU will impact the competitiveness of EU automobile manufacturers.
So says the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) in response to the proposal announced just before Christmas to continue the provisional measures introduced last July in response to similar restrictions taken by the United States. The ‘tariff-rate quota’ places a 25% duty on imports above a certain level.
In response, the ACEA said that in the automotive sector access to EU steel production is extremely tight and imports remain necessary to fill supply-chain gaps. It also said that EU producers of steel are benefiting from long-term high prices and excellent capacity utilisation rates, especially in the automotive sector.
“Imports of steel into the EU have increased over the last year because European manufacturing output has grown substantially since the economic crisis,” explained ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert.
“Motor vehicle manufacturing has increased by 5 million units per year since 2014, and some increase in steel imports has been necessary to meet this higher demand.”
“The EU auto industry is already facing major uncertainties in global trade: the threat of US national security tariffs on imports of motor vehicles and auto parts is ever-present and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit cannot be ruled out either. These protective measures for steel imports come at a challenging time for the automotive sector and will negatively impact the competitiveness of European manufacturers,” Erik Jonnaert outlined.