So far no reaction from Trump
It was one of the topics in 2018: the USA’s punitive tariffs against other industrial nations. The steel and aluminum industries in particular were hit by import duties.
The EU also responded to steel imports with tariffs in the summer of 2018. Originally, these were only intended to apply provisionally. Now the member states have decided to continue charging these fees – and do so permanently.
EU wants to prevent market distortion
At present, the additional duty rate is 25 percent. This applies to imports that additionally enter the EU due to US customs duties. The background for the permanent introduction is the protection of European steel producers against market distortions caused by US customs duties. But there are also critical voices. Acea, a European vehicle manufacturer, criticizes the measure: “These protective measures represent a real risk to the competitiveness of European car manufacturers”.
The import fees are supposed to apply from the coming month. The regulation will initially apply until July 2021, but an extension is not excluded.
Punitive tariffs triggered a trade war
In spring 2018, the US government under President Donald Trump imposed punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He cited national security interests as the reason. But the EU is much more likely to believe that Trump wants to strengthen the domestic market and protect it from foreign competition.
The imposition of tariffs had triggered a trade war between the US, the EU and other industrialized countries such as China. Again and again, the parties threatened themselves with new tariffs. While the situation between the US and the EU has eased, the consequences for China are still noticeable.
How US President Donald Trump interprets the news is not yet known. So far there has been no statement.