The Commission's plan received overwhelming support by Member States gathered in the Safeguards Committee and the new measures will enter into force once formally adopted by the Commission in July. Additional duties will be levied only after a tariff rate quota, based on the level of traditional imports, is reached. The adoption of safeguard measures was part of the three-pronged EU's response to the unilateral US decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium. This is intended to prevent the negative effects of trade diversion, but at the same time maintain traditional supply and effective competition on the EU market. An investigation towards possible imposition of safeguard measures on steel was launched on 26 March. On the basis of the investigation to date, the Commission considers that provisional measures are warranted. The most recent import statistics show trade diversion of steel products into the EU as a result of the additional 25% tariff on steel imposed by the US. The investigation continues at least until the end of 2018.
The Commission has also put in place a surveillance system for imports of aluminium to be prepared in case action will be required in that sector. The EU has also decided to adopt rebalancing measures by imposing duties on a list of US products and legal proceedings were launched against the US in the WTO on 1 June.