Tehran - Iran’s steel exports to Europe are now safe from punitive measures after EU governments reject hitting imports from the Middle Eastern country with trade tariffs. The European Commission, which sets out trade policy in the 28-member European Union, had proposed duties of up to 23 percent for steel from Iran’s Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC). European steel lobby group Eurofer was at the center of the campaign, which had also proposed plans to levy tariffs of up to 33 percent on imports of hot-rolled steel from Brazil, Russia and Ukraine. But EU countries opposed the plan, with some members believing the measures were took weak while others regarded them too strong, Reuters quoted European sources as saying. Eurofer’s complaint against MSC was that Iranian exports of hot-rolled steel, used in machinery and construction, to Europe had leapt to more than 1 million tonnes annually, accusing Mobarakeh of “trade distorting measures.”
Europe’s tough stance, including its more than 40 restrictive measures aimed at aiding European steel producers, has already sparked accusations of protectionism from international steel exporters. Steelmakers across Europe are faced with mass redundancies because of their high energy costs. Their leaders say the 320,000 jobs in the European steel industry are at risk from imports.