India and China among countries to hit out against EU investigation of steel imports

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Eight countries, including China and India, have criticized the EU's decision to launch a safeguard investigation examining imports of certain steel products.

A European Union decision to conduct a safeguard investigation examining imports of certain steel products has been met with criticism from many of the EU's key trading partners.

The Economic Times reports that India, China, South Korea, Turkey, Argentina, Egypt, Vietnam and Chile are expressing concerns that the EU's decision will add to the rising tide of protectionism that is threatening free trade on a global basis at the moment.

Safeguard measures are generally used to protect specific industries from unexpected import build-ups. The new investigation has been launched against 26 product categories, with Indian exporters of crude and stainless steel potentially set to experience a significant impact.

An official with knowledge of the development said: "The EU has initiated an investigation to impose a safeguard duty on some of our products because they feel excessive imports from India are threatening their industry."

It was also suggested that the new steel and aluminum tariffs introduced by the US could have contributed to this decision, as the EU fears that significant amounts of steel intended for sale in the US may instead be diverted to Europe.