There has been a lot written and said about the steel war, which appeared because of the decision of the American administration to increase steel tariffs. The reaction to that decision was wild, but Washington did not really care about it, as the American politicians are more concerned about their voters now on the threshold of the election campaign to the Congress.
The EU representatives approved of the introduction of increased tariffs on 15 kinds of steel on March 27 (within 14.9% to 26%). These measures are meant to protect the European market from the huge amount of cheap steel from East Europe and Asia, for which the USA is actually closed. China and South Korea come first on the list of manufacturers that are ready to flood Europe with its steel production.
It is not ruled out that the governments of several European countries had the same reasons for their as the leaders of the United States. For example, the elections to the Bundestag are to take place in Germany this autumn, and Germany is the largest European steel manufacturer. Why can’t they show their concern of their voters who produce steel? Therefore, EU scolded America for increasing tariffs but chose to do the same. The economists have not yet created measures to protect their own markets, and the introduction of the protective tariffs seems to be the only way out. And this is globalization, what else do you want?
What about Russia? There was the possibility considered to increase the delivery of the Russian steel to Europe, which was a possible way out of the difficult situation. There are preliminary agreements on this subject, pursuant to which the quota on the export of steel from Russia to the EU can be raised by 28%. Vice Premier of the Russian government Viktor Khristenko said: “No matter which measures the European Union might take regarding the import of steel from third countries, this will not touch upon Russia.” It seems that this assertion is coming true. The EU fixed certain benefits for Russia, according to which our country can export yearly up to one million tons of steel to Europe.
However, even this privilege will not totally compensate for the losses of Russian steel manufacturers. The volume of the steel market in Europe is a lot less in comparison with the American market. Russia can experience problems itself, which will be similar to America’s and Europe’s. The Ukrainian steel producers might be interested in the Russian market. What will the Russian government do if this happens? Therefore, the steel controversy is in full swing all over the world, and it is not known when it is going to be over.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov