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The investigation conducted since mid-May showed that the measures have overall worked well during the first year of implementation. The adjustments notified today to the World Trade Organization (WTO) aim however to make them more effective in full compliance with WTO rules.
This could be achieved by (1) adjusting the functioning of the quota for some products, including hot-rolled flat steel and steel intended for the automotive sector, (2) updating the list of exclusions for developing countries on the basis of more recent imports statistics, and (3) slowing down liberalisation of imports by reducing the pace of progressive increase of the import quotas from 5% to 3%.
The proposed adjustments will now be discussed with all affected WTO members. Following these consultations, the adjustments will be submitted for approval to EU Member States, so that they can become effective as of October 2019.
The current safeguard measures were put in place provisionally in July 2018 and introduced in their definitive form in February 2019 to prevent serious injury for the EU steel industry caused by increased imports and trade diversion, as a consequence of the U.S. decision last year to impose tariffs on steel products.
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