March 26, 2018 / 9:07 AM / a year ago

EU starts study to see if steel being diverted by Trump tariffs

BRUSSELS, March 26 (Reuters) - The European Union launched a study on Monday to assess whether tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on steel were leading to a surge of imports into Europe.

Trump’s tariffs, of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, came into force last Friday, although the European Union and six other countries secured temporary exemptions.

The tariffs or quotas would have to apply to all countries, meaning leading exporters China, India, Russia, South Korea and Turkey would be hit.

The EU is concerned that steel manufacturers that are subject to U.S. tariffs may divert their product to Europe, leading to a surge of imports.

With the investigation, which could last up to nine months, the EU could decide to impose its own quotas or tariffs to prevent harm to its own industry.

“The information currently available to the European Commission... has revealed that imports of certain steel products have recently increased sharply showing that there is sufficient evidence that these trends in imports appear to call for safeguards measures,” the European Commission said in a document published in the EU official journal on Monday. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop)

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