14 March 2002
European steel buyers could benefit from lower prices than their US counterparts following President George Bush's controversial introduction of an import levy.
From 20 March, up to 10 categories of steel products will face tariffs up to 30 per cent in a bid to help troubled US producers.
The UK Steel Association is lobbying the European Commission to mirror the US measures. It wants to safeguard against Europe suffering a deluge of up to 14 million tonnes of cheap steel previously destined for the US.
The EU in turn has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation.
In a third consecutive annual increase, EU imports rose to 24 million tonnes last year.
Steel manufacturers will contest the inevitable lowering of prices, which are likely to benefit buyers across other areas of manufacturing. They have 120 days to lobby the EU to get their more specialist supplies excluded from the duty.