EU States Vote for Extension of Steel Safeguard Measures
The European Commission’s proposal to extend steel safeguard measures, which expire on June 30, 2021, for three years was adopted by EU member states on 17 June in favour, eight against and two abstentions. The 17 member states who voted in favour represent 88% of the EU’s population, the minimum condition for a qualified majority decision is 15 member states representing at least 65% of the population. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Malta and Ireland voted against the proposal, while Austria and Cyprus abstained. Consultations on the proposal took place between 14 and 18 June. However, this does not mean that a final decision has been made. This will be finalized by the EC.
On 11 June the Commission notified parties to the investigation as well as the WTO of its intention to prolong steel safeguard measures for three years beyond 30 June. In its determination following the safeguard review, the Commission found evidence that the measures continue to be necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury or threat to EU steel industry. According to the EC proposal, a relaxation of tariff-free quotas of 3% annually would be implemented during the 2021-2024 period. A review of how the measure is working would be carried out before the end of June 2022.