EUROFER welcomes Commissioner Malmström announcement of EU response to section 232 threat
Brussels, 7 March 2018 – The European Steel Association (EUROFER) has warmly welcomed the announcement made today by Commissioner Malmström. The steel sector strongly supports the three-tracked response of the EU of challenging the US’ measures before the WTO, safeguarding our industry, and rebalancing trade.
“Taking measures to protect the European industry against trade deflection is a matter of life or death for the European steel industry. The EU should be prepared to put safeguard measures in place immediately to avoid a surge of imports and stockpiling that could substantially harm the European steel industry”, said Mr Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER.
EU steel imports covering the full product scope have remained very high – 40 million tonnes in 2017 – despite multiple EU trade defence measures (most of which target dumping and illegal subsidies from China). The most recent import data for January 2018 already show a massive surge for finished steel products driven by other countries than China, notably Russia, Turkey, India, South Korea, Vietnam, Belarus and Ukraine.
“We welcome the Commission announcement of a three-tracked approach – and especially that appropriate, sufficient and swift measures will be taken – to safeguard the interests and jobs in our industry. It is clear that any supplementary, sizeable import surge would again destabilise a European steel market that has only just begun to settle onto a sustainable growth path”, emphasized Mr Eggert.
EUROFER considers it more than ever crucial that governments decisively act to address the root causes of global excess capacity, including the elimination of capacity and market distorting subsidies and government support measures worldwide pursued in the frame of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity.