US 232 could redirect 13 million mt of steel to Europe
- Source: platts
As much as 13 million mt of
steel could be redirected to the European Union if the US applies its
Section 232 tariff plan on the trading bloc, European Steel
Association President Geert Van Poelvoorde said Monday.
The European Commission
"cannot sit still and not prepare," but must act to
safeguard the domestic steel industry, Van Poelvoorde said at a press
conference, noting he hoped the EC can react with measures within a month.
"Europe will suffer through
increased imports, or trade deflection, since it is a reasonable
assumption that the imports deflected by the US will seek a home in
Europe," Van Poelvoorde said. The EU already saw 40 million mt of
imports land in 2017, which was a new peak. This is, in fact, higher
than the 35 million mt that arrived in the US. EUROFER estimates that
section 232 could lead to a further 13 million mt coming to Europe --
and this is a conservative estimation."
EUROFER Director General Axel
Eggert explained the calculation took into account that the US imports
26 million mt of steel, excluding deliveries from Canada and Mexico,
which could be exempt from the tariffs.
"Most of that will have to
look for new destinations, so we made an estimation that at least half
of that will have to find a new market," Eggert said. "The
EU is an open market, naturally the EU will be the next market. It
could be 13 million mt, it could be eight million mt, either way it
will be catastrophic."
While the calculations assume
significant production increases in the US market, Van Poelvoorde
pointed to the restarting of the US Steel blast furnace in Granite
City, Illinois, as well as the new Nucor micro mill in Florida, both
of which have happened prior to the tariffs even taking effect.
Eggert noted the recovery of the
European steel industry has only lasted a year, and the possibility of
a flood of exports would be "catastrophic."
"We cannot let President
Trump destroy the moderate recovery we have," he said.