The European Steel Association, EUROFER, called for more measures to protect the industry against a record increase in imports triggered by U.S. tariffs. This increase in finished-steel imports, combined with weak demand and high energy costs for local producers, threatens to force European companies to cut their production.

EUROFER estimates that steel demand in Europe was challenged by the 12% increase in imports registered in 2018, despite the European market growing by only 3.3%. The increase in imports happened despite current safeguard measures designed to limit incoming steel following the Trump Administration’s 25% import tariffs, which have effectively closed the U.S. market. EUROFER estimates that two thirds of the steel that used to go to the U.S. now ends up in the European Union.

On June 19, Mexico became the first nation to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in a sweeping Senate vote. The agreement was signed by the three countries in 2018 to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The free trade agreement, when ratified by the U.S. and Canada, will update the terms of trade to regulate sectors such as ecommerce that did not exist when NAFTA was negotiated in 1994. The USMCA incorporates a sunset clause that says the terms of agreement will expire in 16 years unless re-negotiated.

Next week, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is hosting the 2019 Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Conference on “The Path Forward” in San Antonio, Texas. The annual conference hosts hundreds of trade professionals to discuss the latest developments in cargo security, trade processing, and enforcement. Conference speakers share best practices, chronicle lessons learned, identify opportunities, and demonstrate a resolute commitment to solve trade-related challenges.

This year’s conference will be a day of speaking sessions on June 25, followed by a day of workshops on June 26. The keynote address will be delivered by John P. Wagner, Executive Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Field Operations for CBP.