Brussels, 26 February 2016 - On Monday 29 February at the Competitiveness Council in Brussels, EU industry minsters from across Europe will discuss actions to actively support the European steel industry to enable the sector to compete on a fair and level playing field within the global market. This important meeting of ministers is a follow-up on the Extraordinary Council meeting on steel on 9 November 2015 and the High Level Conference on 15 February 2016.
Ministers have the opportunity on Monday to tackle, head on, measures that will stem the tsunami of under-priced, unfairly traded steel notably from China flooding into Europe. The most important step the Council can take in relation to anti-dumping actions, is by taking up its responsibility and swiftly agreeing on the lifting of the Lesser-Duty-Rule (LDR) as proposed by the Commission (April 2013) and supported by the European Parliament (February 2014).
“Applying the Lesser-Duty-Rule to each and every dumping investigation simply reduces antidumping measures/tariffs to levels that blatantly fail to restore a fair import price in the EU steel market. Other economies do not grant such a favour to unfair imports. So why does the Council refuse to see the damage that the Lesser-Duty-Rule is having, day in day out, on the European steel sector”, explains EUROFER Director General Axel Eggert.
It is Member States with steel production and jobs that continue blocking an agreement within the Council, to remove this outdated Rule. It is most notably the UK, The Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden and Slovenia. (Enclosure: Note to the Council Working Party on Trade Questions)
“By blocking the lifting of the Lesser-Duty-Rule, these Member States deliberately deprive the European steel sector of the chance to receive effective and legitimate remedy against massive dumping. It is vital that improvements in current anti-dumping practices and reform of the current framework are pursued in parallel”, concludes Axel Eggert.
Note to the Council Working Party on Trade Questions. Click here
Karl Tachelet, Director International Affairs, +32 2 738 79 49 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
EUROFER is located in Brussels and was founded in 1976. It represents the entirety of steel production in the European Union. EUROFER members are steel companies and national steel federations throughout the EU. The major steel companies and national steel federations in Switzerland and Turkey are associate members.
The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 330,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 170 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 24 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.
Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.