BY CONTINUING TO USE THIS SITE, YOU ARE AGREEING TO OUR USE OF COOKIES. REVIEW OUR
COOKIE NOTICE

Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to: Latest news headlines Analytical topics and features Commodities videos, podcast & blogs Sample market prices & data Special reports Subscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.


  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

IF you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the�Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Metals

Feature: European politicians lambast US' 25% Section 232 steel tariff

Steel

How the US-China trade war is impacting Asian flat steel markets

Metals | Non-Ferrous | Steel

Platts Market Data - Metals

Commodities | Electric Power | Metals

Battery Metals Conference, Inaugural

Metals

US coal miner Peabody Energy agrees to acquire Shoal Creek met coal mine for $400 mil

Feature: European politicians lambast US' 25% Section 232 steel tariff

Liverpool — Steel is and always has been an intensely political industry, in large part thanks to previous swathes of government ownership in parts of the world -- and current state-involvement in some.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Donald Trump's eagerly anticipated announcement Thursday that the US would impose 25% tariffs on steel imports, without mentioning exclusions for trade partners or allies, put steel firmly front and center of political discourse and commentary.

"We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk," Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said.

"The EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests. The Commission will bring forward in the next few days a proposal for WTO-compatible countermeasures against the US to rebalance the situation," he said.



EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmstrom, said the measures would have a "negative impact on trans-Atlantic relations and on global markets," and that they would "raise costs and reduce choice for US consumers."

The EU would seek dispute settlement consultations with the US in Geneva at the "earliest opportunity," she added, suggesting the US acting alone would do nothing to address the issue of global overcapacity.

The US has lambasted efforts to address excess capacity, such as those provided by the G20 forum, which it says have been nothing more than a talking shop and accomplished no reduction in steelmaking capability.

"We welcome the announcement of the Commission that appropriate and swift measures will be taken to safeguard the interests and jobs in our industry," said Axel Eggert, director general of European steel producers' association Eurofer.

"The EU must not allow that the moderate recovery in our industry over the last year is now being destroyed by the EU's most important political ally."

Seth Rosenfeld, an analyst at investment bank Jefferies, said the European Commission would be "forced to implement safeguard measures," and that continental mills could also benefit from potentially securing access to the US, allowing them to sell into the "world's highest priced markets" -- which would not be available to others.

He also said the US mills would benefit, obviously.

"For an equity market already obsessed with inflation risks ... get ready for a doozy," he quipped -- he did suggest pressure from consumers and foreign suppliers would lead to a more nuanced policy, with a 25% tax across the board "viewed as a direct tax on US consumers."

The US is structurally short steel and has to import, so for grades that are not produced domestically, mills would likely increase prices to offset the duty, meaning buyers would "eat" it, rather than the sellers.

Europe exported 5 million mt of steel to the US last year.

Shares in European mills were down across the board at the time of writing.

ThysennKrupp lost 1.86% by 11:33 London time, while Tata Steel lost 4.29% -- Tata is exposed to the US via an autosheet business in Detroit -- and Salzgitter 2.81%.

--Colin Richardson, colin.richardson@spglobal.com
--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com